The AbyssThe Abyss

Posted on Dec 13th 2008 at 06:45:08 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, LittleBigPlanet, Playstation 3

Now, generally I do not like to review something until I have completely beat the game, and as such, this post is going to be impressions of the game, which to a certain extent is probably a review.

For those of you not in the know, I got the first disbursement of my sign-on bonus this week, and promptly splurged it on a PlayStation 3. Of course, the very first game that I bought was LittleBigPlanet. Why wouldn't I have bought that game first? Everything I've seen about it on the internet suggests that it oozes creativity. To a certain extent, it shows that this generation Sony and not Nintendo has the creativity wand when it comes to games. I had to buy this game, and by golly I did.

LittleBigPlanet is based around the concept that this world managed by Creator Curators is created by the combined imagination of the world and you, as Sackboy, get to explore it. On the surface of playing the game, LittleBigPlanet is a semi 2D platformer. You can only move left, right, or back and forth in the background. But, see, just because the game is in essence a 2D platformer does not take away from the fact that it oozes with creativity and fun.

This game is customizable, and not just a little customizable, but "HAVE AT IT WON'T YOU?" customizable. As you progress through the game you are gifted and obtain lots of stickers, objects, and doodads to fool around with. In story mode, these stickers can be placed wherever, and sometimes these stickers serve as triggers. But, the real beauty of collecting these customizations is the fact that the game allows you to create your own levels. These aren't some corny shallow level but often full fledged levels limited only by the imagination of the creator, and that's really neat. Theoretically you could never run out of levels to play because the community keeps pumping them out. It's really truly amazing.

That said, the Media Molecule (developer) levels are also very cool. Basically, each creator curator has a theme and mini storyline that ties in with the other curators, and levels get harder and harder as you progress through the story. Of course, once you beat a level there are plenty of reasons to go back. See, chances are you won't be able to get all 100% of the items on your first go, so there will always be that reason to come back to the level. Secondly, you could play the level by yourself, or you could play the level with someone online. The neat thing about that is that you sometimes have to have another Sackboy with you to get certain items and cause certain events to occur. Thing is though that I am so addicted to the game that I just want to beat it through before playing with someone online, so I don't know for sure how that works, but I imagine it's pretty cool.

From customizing your own levels to customizing your Sackboy, you have a lot of freedom in this game, and this freedom makes the game so damn enjoyable. I'd say I am about 70ish% through the story mode, and this game keeps calling me back. If you have a PS3 I don't think you have to buy the game, but you'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn't at least try it out. After all, Sackboy is so damn lovable. Forget Home's avatars, Sackboy should be our official Sony avatars. He's just so damn precious.

Have the game? Want the game? What are your impressions of LittleBigPlanet? Is it everything you thought it would be, or is it something that you hope it will be?

Posted on Nov 18th 2008 at 12:33:09 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Sony, Playstation

Happy Birthday PS3! That's right, two years ago today the PLAYSTATION 3 was released here in the states, being the second region to get the behemoth known as the PLAYSTATION 3. At the time it was the BIGGEST, BADDEST, MOST POWERFUL console to date, and well, two out of the three of those descriptors still fit. Depending on how you look at it, those descriptors can have either a positive or negative connotation associated with them.

Let's look back shall we? Well, in 2006 Sony had far and beyond the largest ego of the three developers. A cocky arrogance, so to speak. The PlayStation 2 sold like hotcakes, so obviously the PS3 would sell like hotcakes as well, right? Never mind the price differential. I know inflation occurs, but damn, you paid a premium if you bought a PS3 at launch. So, looking back, is it that surprising that the PS3 hasn't sold so well? I wouldn't think so, but I certainly didn't expect it to be as piss poor as it's been. Maybe it was branding the PLAYSTATION 3 as PLAYSTATION 3. ALL CAPS IS GREAT!!!!L0Lz0r. Seriously, why? Was it arrogance? I don't know for sure, but I am certainly inclined to believe it was.

Grand Theft Auto IV was supposed to get people to buy a PS3. To a certain extent it did, but then it dropped off like your grandmother's fine china falls off the table when your two year old son gets a hold of it. Truth be told, the massive releases haven't really had the intended effect that Sony was hoping for. It's sort of sad, don't these companies learn from history? I remember some other company being an arrogant ass and in the process watched it's market share drop from first to third over two console generations. I guess these companies just don't like to read up on history.

Of course, perhaps the future will be better for Sony. I know that I really want LittleBigPlanet, and half of Japan really wants Final Fantasy XIII. Perhaps the PS3 will be a late bloomer. Time shall tell, but in the the past things haven't been so rosy for the poor PLAYSTATION 3. After all, The PLAYSTATION 3 is now referred to as the PlayStation 3. Did the marketers get tired of holding down shift or did Sony realize their arrogance? Who knows, but it does make you wonder.

So, 2 years down, how many more to follow? Clearly the 4 year cycle should be blown to nothingness, I hope. I honestly think the PlayStation 3 will have a rosier future. It really is a powerful, powerful system, and in time production costs will hit a sweet spot where the mass public can afford it. There are good games for the PlayStation 3, and someday maybe a lot of people will be fortunate enough to play them. Sony really, really needs to knock the socks off of the gaming public. Clearly non casual gamers feel at time disenfranchised with the current market leader, why not capitalize on that? Find a sweet spot to sell the console at. Promote the third party tie-in ratio. Push the value of the console. Stop running esoteric and crazy commercials. Sell and advertise what people want. I think Sony will be able to pull it off, and in the future you might just see Sony be somewhere rosier than they currently are. Time shall tell.

Two years down, more to follow. What's your take on the PlayStation 3? What has the past and future held for the console in your opinion? What must they do in the present? Are they doomed to third place? Have the mighty fallen again? Time shall certainly tell.

Posted on Oct 11th 2008 at 12:45:38 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft

For those of you who sort of follow gaming news, however few of you there are, probably have been following the Tokyo Game Show, which is probably the biggest show there is for gaming now that E3 is dead. Long Live E3. So, there are a lot of bombshells and great announcements to come from TGS, and if you want to know what they are I suggest you look at a website that blogs about games. Might I recommend Kotaku. See, I am not here to report all the crap that was announced at TGS. Rather, I want to start a discussion as to the things that excited us. Well, now that I got this out of the way way, let me begin.

Continue reading TGS is going on, what excites you?

Posted on Aug 9th 2008 at 04:10:03 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Cynical Gamer, Feature, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Modern Gaming

Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, well, thatís at least what they say. To me imitation could be a good thing, or, in a market where being unique can lead to being hugely popular and subsequent huge profit margins, a very bad thing. Look for example at Apple. No one is really like Apple in what they do and what they offer. Apple is the trendy tech company, and pending the outcome of a lawsuit, they either will be comfortably the trendy tech company for years to come, or they could see their profit margins erode as the Mac OS is opened up to other hardware manufacturers. Certainly could throw a wrench into things, thatís for sure.

So, what does this talk have to do with gaming? What? Are you serious? Imitation in the gaming realm is making me want to throw up, and I hope youíre as dazed about this imitation as I am.

Continue reading Cynical Gamer #8: Imitation

Posted on Jun 25th 2008 at 07:46:26 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, MGS4, PS3, Sony, Humor

As you may or may not know, Tondog is a huge fan of MGS4. If he could, he'd probably have Kojima's babies. Unfortunately, or fortunately for him, he is a guy, and such a thing is physically impossible. That said, lots of people bought MGS4, including Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw. See, Yahztee does Zero Punctuation, which in the realm of the internet geared towards gamers is absolutely hilarious. Today, Yahtzee is reviewing Metal Gear Solid 4, and well... why don't you watch it for yourself.

So, what'd you think? Personally, I am part of the group not currently already entrenched in Metal Gear Solid, so I think I'll follow this advice and just not play the game. Not really my cup of tea anyways. But then, I don't drink tea. What about you? Did Yahtzee strike a nerve, or do you wholeheartedly agree?

Posted on Mar 27th 2008 at 07:32:01 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, PS3, Wii, Xbox

Some of you may be die hard haters of other game consoles besides the ones that you own. For others, you might be such a fanboy that you need be reminded of reasons why you should curb your enthusiasm. Fortunately for you, Gamesradar wishes to fan the flames of console bashing during its hate week, where they harp about why you should hate everything. Thank God for that too, because I certainly could not think of my own reasons to be spiteful about the console manufacturers.

Shall we check out these videos? Because I am a nice guy, I'll start out with the company I tend to support heavily (aside from my latest Cynical Gamer piece), Nintendo. You can find Sony and Microsoft after the Jump.


Continue reading 100 Reasons to Hate Each of the Console Manufacturers

Posted on Jan 14th 2008 at 01:34:11 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Feature, PS3, PlayStation, Sony, Microsoft, 360, Modern Gaming

People have been sneering at the price of the PS3. They say it is expensive. You know, this statement is correct. However, I find it troubling that many of these people that say the Playstation 3 is overly expensive have no problem laying down the money for Microsoft's 360. I find such actions humorous. Let's analyze what I perceive as the true costs of these two systems, in terms of what they have to offer and what hidden costs lie with the system. Perhaps, we'll be enlightened after this discussion. Perhaps you'll be enraged. Chances are though that my arguments are pretty decent, and perhaps it will make take a second look at which system you ultimately end up purchasing.

Continue reading PS3 or 360? Why not Make an Informed Decision?

Posted on Nov 11th 2007 at 04:10:54 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Microsoft Owns You, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Shaft

Well, some of you may be aware of the Spike TV Video Game Awards. It's pretty much a show of which games are the most violent, bloody games on the market, not necessarily the best, unless of course you thoroughly enjoy only violent, mature games. Certainly, this list is a reflection of our culture's Roman Tendencies. I thoroughly look forward to the day when I can watch prisoner's fight to the death against each other at the local stadium. I hope they are given random weapons, ranging from truly awesome to absolutely absurd. Who wants to fight to the death with a rubber chicken? Certainly, I do not.

So yeah, without further ado, here is are the nominations for the Game of the Year:

Game of the Year
BioShock (360)
Halo 3 (360)
Mass Effect (360)
The Orange Box (360)

Hmm... how, Microsoft skewed. Apparently Microsoft is kick ass in the violence department. The rest of the nominations are found after the jump.

Continue reading Spike's VG Award Nominees Are Up

Posted on Jul 6th 2007 at 04:45:54 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Rumor, Modern Gaming, PLAYSTATION 3, Sony, Price Drop

Sony hasn't gotten much love in recent times. The PlayStation 3 seems to be the whipping boy of the media and consumers. The poor thing, and poor Sony. Times haven't looked good for them recently in the gaming sector. However, there is a nasty little rumor out there in the gaming world -- a price drop.

That's right people, Joystiq has posted a nasty rumor regarding a hundred dollar price drop happening for the PS3 on July 12. There's even an alleged flyer showing the price drop! So, the question arises -- is this drop real, or is it a fabrication? I am sure that lots of people are hoping that it is real. The PS3 may have been whipping boy up to now but it doesn't change the fact that there are some nice games coming out for the system.

So is the rumored price drop real, or is it wild speculation? If it is real, would it entice you to buy the PS3, or is more required to get you to spend your hard earned cash? You know you want LittleBigPlanet. 

UPDATE: Kotaku is reporting that moles at Best Buy and Target also see a 100 dollar price drop in their inventory systems. This rumor just gets better and better.

Posted on Jun 20th 2007 at 11:32:50 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Whammy, Adults Only, Rockstar, Nintendo, Sony, Manhunt 2

As reported by Joystiq and Kotaku, both Nintendo and Sony will refuse to license Take Two's Manhunt 2 if it retains it's current AO rating. This development comes just one day after the BBFC banned the game in the UK and the ESRB gave the game the aforementioned AO rating.

Reasons for not allowing licensing are pretty well stated. For Nintendo its policy is in the Buyer's Guide:

Quote from: Nintendo
Please note that Nintendo does not sell or license games that carry the ESRB rating 'AO' (Adults Only).

Joystiq contacted David Karraker, Senior Director of Communications for Sony for comments, to which Karraker replied that it is currently Sony's Policy not to carry AO rated content on their systems.

It looks as though the Manhunt saga is getting more and more grim for Take Two and Rockstar. What will happen to the game? Will it see major edits to lose its AO rating, or will the game be scrapped? Given the time they put into the game, I'd expect the former, but who knows, I could be surprised. One thing is certain though, if the ESRB rating stands through the appeal process, Take Two will have to do something. Certainly now it is looking like the game won't be making its release date in three weeks, that's for certain.

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This is where my thoughts go and are never heard from again.

Well, maybe not, but this is the repository for all of my published thoughts and rantings. It'll make my day if you find at least 10% of it amusing and enjoyable to read.

Sorry for the other 90%.

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