Posts tagged ‘PS Vita’

12/04/2012

In which I respond to aspersions cast by an internet necromancer

by wfgodbold

Nearly two years ago, I posted an overly long and verbose piece on why, despite my preference for region-free consoles and gaming, consumers don’t have the right to region-free games. This was mainly in response to Nintendo’s decision to region-lock the 3DS. Early this morning, through what I can only assume was the use of the necromantic arts, someone responded to that post. Because my response to that comment would have been far longer than a comment has any right to be, I chose to respond in a new post. Consider this a sequel to that original post.

In the two years since my original post, Nintendo launched the 3DS (region-locked), and then had to drop the price because it was too expensive and no one was buying it. I still have not bought one (the last Nintendo console I bought was the DS Lite–I haven’t bought a Wii and have no plans to buy a Wii U), though I have bought a PS3 and PS Vita in the meantime (both of which, you will notice, can at the very least play out-of-region physical games).

This, dear reader, is a little thing I like to call The Market.™

Sony has made choices with which I agree, and to support those choices, I am willing to pay for their consoles and games (and I have games for both systems from both the US and Japan).

Nintendo has continued to region-lock their consoles and games. The prices of those consoles and games have not dropped to the point where I would be willing to forego the ability to play games from all regions on one console, so I have not bought them (even though I would dearly love to play Tales of the Abyss with load times that aren’t measured in geologic time, and Project X Zone looks ridiculous enough to be awesome).

Sullivan, in his comment, says,

And Nintendo doesn’t owe you anything? You are a customer. Neither Nintendo nor their shareholders would make ANY money without the customers. They sure as hell owe you. And what you get for your money is that they patronize you and severely restrict your freedom. It is not okay. And telling people not to buy the system because of that is just stupid. It is not a solution. It was not the game developers’ choice to make games region locked.

In response, I would like to point out that Nintendo does not owe me anything.

I bought a DS Lite. Nintendo fulfilled its side of the bargain bye delivering what was promised–a region-free handheld gaming system. Since then, I have not been a Nintendo customer–I haven’t bought anything because I don’t want to pay them to restrict my gaming options. If you buy a 3DS/Wii/Wii U knowing that it’s region-locked, Nintendo still doesn’t owe you–you’re still getting exactly what you paid for.

I don’t owe support to game companies. Game companies don’t owe me good games, bad games, mediocre games, region-free games, or region-locked games. If a game company has a game I want to play, I buy it, and the relationship ends there.

Not buying the system because it’s region-locked is not only the solution, it’s the cheapest solution (it’s certainly cheaper than trying to get a big enough block of Nintendo stock to control the company’s decisions). If you’re not willing to give up the ability to play the games that come out despite the region-locking that Nintendo has foisted upon consumers, then you’ve made an economic decision that region-free gaming is not worth as much to you as it is to someone who chooses not to buy a Nintendo console because of the region-locking.

Nintendo is free to choose to region-lock their consoles and games. Sony is free to choose not to region-lock their consoles and games.

And the consumer is free to vote with his wallet and support whichever philosophy he agrees with, if he even cares. Sadly, I suspect most consumers don’t care about whether or not their consoles are region-locked.

08/05/2012

In no particular order:

by wfgodbold

Growlanser IV is out for the PSP in the US (if you’ve a PS3, you can download it there and transfer it to the PS Vita without issue; if you’re PS3-less, you’ll have to wait until it’s up in the PS Vita PSN store). It’s pretty good so far; the sprites are nice, and the gameplay is classic Growlanser (JRPG-like with a heavy dose of strategy).

As far as the Chick-fil-a brouhaha goes, I didn’t eat there on Wednesday. Not because I disagree with their position (which I do (disagree, I mean)), and not out of support for the attempt to crack down on speech Boston/Chicago politicians disagree with, but because the local CFA had cops out directing traffic, a drive-thru line that looked to be at least 50 cars long, and an in-store line that stretched around the building at least once. Their chicken is good, and I support their rights to hold positions I don’t agree with and be free from government harassment because of that speech, but it’s not stand-in-line-for-more-than-an-hour good. Linoge disagreed, and went on – in his characteristic way – to say in ~400 words what a normal man would say in 50 (I would have posted on this on the 1st, but when I got home, Linoge had already said basically everything I was going to. Even if he did say it in 4x the space).

Want to eat sushi at the Olympics? Hope you don’t like soy sauce, cause mini packets are banned on account of not sponsoring the Olympics (beware; Sankaku Complex is about as unsafe for work as it gets). Between that and the lack of business the Olympics was supposed to bring in, I don’t know why anyone would voluntarily pay for the games. Other than as an opportunity to fleece the taxpayer and enrich politicians and their cronies, I mean.

The latest live-action Rurouni Kenshin trailer is out, and it’s got English subtitles. My only complaint is that they translate Kenshin’s reference to his reverse-bladed-sword as merely “sword;” in Japanese, it’s literally written 逆刃刀; the first character means “backwards,” the second “blade,” and the third “sword.” Instead of being sharpened along the front edge and dull along the back, Kenshin’s is dull along the front and sharp along the back (reverse-bladed). It’s kind of a big part of the character, and just calling it a sword doesn’t really cut it (heh).

In my less copious than normal free time (when not playing Growlanser (and sometimes while playing Growlanser), I’ve been rewatching The Good Guys on Netflix streaming. It takes me back to a more innocent time, when I hadn’t had a class on pre-trial criminal procedure, and was ignorant of how much of a free hand the courts have given police. I’ve mentioned it before; every episode is essentially an 80s/90s style buddy cop movie (in 45 min.).

I’m also working my way through Simon R. Green‘s books. Again. Sure, they’re pulp, but they’re entertaining. And isn’t that what really matters?

The law review has handed down the first cite check for this year; it’s due a week from Wednesday. Between that and the Legal Editing & Scholarship class I’m taking before fall classes start up, I’m being kept off the streets pretty efficiently.

04/30/2012

Tabs!

by wfgodbold

The #Occupy Little Rock crowd is pretty pathetic. Who even cares about LR City Hall? For that matter, doesn’t “march” imply that someone is leading?

The only thing better than a life-size VF-25 Valkyrie would be a functioning life-size Valkyrie. Because the only thing better than mecha are transforming mecha!

How scientifically literate are you? I got 43/50; I should’ve gotten a few more right, but made some stupid mistakes.

Ever wonder what Philip K. Dick thought of Blade Runner?

I think the last one is my favorite.

And just because Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is awesome, here are a few screenshots (click to embiggen):

A boss tries to dictate to the main character how he should fight her.

A newly created Shaman introduces herself.

A new party member shows up to save the day!

Prinny Mask (who has nothing at all to do with Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) takes over as homeroom teacher.

The party faces off against an army of enemy gunslingers!

The gunslinger homeroom teacher gives us some good advice.

03/28/2012

Good news on the PSN front!

by wfgodbold

Atlus has finally lowered the PSN pricing for some of its PSP games (most of which were originally priced at the release MSRP).

I’ve been interested in giving one of the Shin Megami Tensei games a try; sure, the Persona series is just a spinoff, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

I just haven’t decided if I should start with Persona (the first game in the spinoff series) or Persona 3 Portable. I don’t think they’re strongly connected, more just set in the same universe (or even just with the same basic battle options and game mechanics, like the Final Fantasy or Tales of series).

On the one hand, Persona started the spinoff series, and I do like starting at the beginning.

On the other hand, it was a PSX game, and is bound to look dated, especially compared to Persona 3, which was ported from a PS2 game.

On the gripping hand, the characters in Persona 3 have an … interesting … way of summoning their personas into battle.

I’m not even considering starting with Persona 2, since for some reason it’s $10 more expensive than the other two games. Good job on consistency there, Atlus.

I suppose I should be happy they responded to the demand from Vita owners, though; since the only way to play PSP games on the Vita is by purchasing the PSN version of the game, everyone who was interested in Atlus’s PSN catalog complained vociferously about how they hadn’t reduced prices on most of their games since the first of them were listed digitally almost three years ago.

If anyone has any suggestions about whether Persona 1 or Persona 3 is the better starting point for someone who’s never played a SMT game in his life, feel free to share them.

03/26/2012

Thoughts on Uncharted: Golden Abyss

by wfgodbold

I finished the game Sunday night on normal. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good handheld adaptation of the console Uncharted experience.

The gyro-assisted aiming was great; I think this would work even on the console versions of Uncharted with the PS3′s Sixaxis controllers. Once I figured out how to use it properly, I was getting headshots more often than not.

There wasn’t much deadtime; the game was good about taking Nate from one action setpiece to the next.

The story was decent; it’s set before Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (the first game), but aside from Elena not showing up at all, you’d never have known.

However, there were some things I didn’t like at all.

The final boss fight was terrible; it combined the tediousness of quick time events with the annoyance of swiping all over the Vita screen. If I wanted to play a touchscreen-based game, I’d have bought a damn iPad. There were plenty of touchscreen quick time events throughout the game, so it’s not like they surprised me with it; but I didn’t like those either, and so I really didn’t like it when I had to swipe around on the screen for five minutes to beat the final boss. If you miss three of the swipes, it’s game over; it’s also game over if you miss the final swipe, even if it’s not the third.

The graphics were pretty good, in spite of the jaggies. It looked better in motion than in the screenshots I took, but the jaggies were still noticeable.

Your sidekicks are morons. They get in the way, and thanks to collision detection, you can’t just walk through them; you bump into them and have to go around. It was especially annoying when they would start climbing down ropes before I could and then when I tried to follow them, I’d roll off the ledge and fall to my death.

I’d say if you’re on the fence about whether to buy it or not, either pick it up used or wait for a sale. It’s good enough to play, and a fun game, but it’s definitely not worth the $50 MSRP. Maybe if it had been made by Naughty Dog instead of Bend, it would have been a bit better; I guess we’ll never know.

03/16/2012

I had an idea for a post when I clicked “New Post”

by wfgodbold

But it’s completely gone now. Like it never existed.

I think it was something about Kickstarter and how it’s reviving long-dead series and genres (Wasteland 2, a new Tim Schafer adventure game, etc.), but I’m not really sure.

I guess I”ll just do some tab clearing, instead.

Falcom posted some samples of the rearranged music from Zero no Kiseki Evolution, their PS Vita full voice remake of the PSP game. Like the most of their music, it sounds great.

New this month from Baen Night Shade Books is a sendup of the John Carter of Mars books, called Jane Carver of Waar. Good timing on their part, what with the movie release (which everyone has seen, right?). I may have to buy it.

Sony sent out the Super Stardust Delta download codes for PS Vita 3G buyers who signed up for their free month of 3G with AT&T. It’s just as addictive as the PS3 version; you keep playing one more game to try to better your score.

Diablo III comes out on May 15. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to buy it.

The newest Rurouni Kenshin trailer looks awesome. They even have plans to release it internationally!

SNK is getting back into the handheld market with their new Neo Geo X, which comes with 20 Neo Geo games and an SD slot for future expansion. No word on pricing yet, though.

I added a link to my Amazon store on the right side of the page under the twitter widget; if you want used imported video games, knock yourself out. I’ll add more to it this week after going through my PS2 collection.

And finally, a comparison shot with my Vita and PSP-1000, with a game case from each:

Edit: Fixed the publisher for Jane Carver of Waar; it looks like Baen is handling the ebook, and Night Shade Books is publishing the trade paperback.

03/12/2012

Miscellany

by wfgodbold

I picked up my freshly repaired car this afternoon. I’ll just say USAA is awesome and leave it at that.

If you’ve a Vita and a Japanese PSN account, don’t miss out on this chance to get a ¥1000 credit.

I’m pretty busy the next couple days; the draft of my argument for my legal writing appellate brief is due Wednesday, and we have a Civil Procedure midterm that afternoon as well.

In the meantime, enjoy Reason.tv’s take on the Sandra Fluke contraception brouhaha:

03/02/2012

Livin’ la (PS) Vita loca?

by wfgodbold

Vita game-wise, I have Tales of Innocence R and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I also bought a couple Vita-compatible PSP games off the US PSN (Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Seven), and I’ve put in some time on each of them. I’m a ways into ToIR, a couple chapters into UGA, and almost to the end of Oath (aside from making sure Ys Seven worked, I haven’t played it), and the PS Vita is great.

Unfortunately, the screenshot functionality doesn’t work on PSP games, only on Vita games (at this point, anyway; maybe Sony will patch it so it works later). Uncharted looks better on the system than it does in the screenshots (damn compression!), but ToIR looks about the same. The analog sticks are great, and far better than the slider the PSP had. Even the d-pad is much improved.

Uncharted falls prey to the same problems most first-party games on new, innovative hardware do; it uses the touch screen, rear touch panel, and gyro controls in gimmicky ways when they’re not really necessary. I should be able to navigate the menu without using the touch screen if I want; balancing with gyro controls as you walk over logs was stupid in Uncharted 1, let alone here (and was rightly absent in UC2 and 3); and having to tap the ammo indicator to reload instead of a button is unintuitive. That said, a couple of the uses of the Vita’s capabilities are actually good: coarse aiming with the analog stick coupled with fine aiming via gryo controls makes targeting enemies a breeze, and using the rear touch pad to control zoom on the sniper rifle is very quick.

The touch screen is barely used in Tales of Innocence R; you can assign each party member a spell to cast when you tap their portrait during battle. Other than that, it’s only used when saving/loading (which appears to be a Vita system-level requirement, like the PSP save/load system). I’m inclined to believe Namco was working on this “reimagination” for the PSP, and just switched tracks when Vita development was feasible.

I’ll play through these games before I get any new Vita software (probably, at least). Until Disgaea 3: Absence of DetentionGravity RushYs: Woodland of Celceta, and possibly Zero no Kiseki: Evolution come out, I’m not interested in much.

Which basically gives me a month (until Disgaea 3), and then another month or two (until Gravity Rush), and then however long for those other games. Unless other games pique my interest in the meantime, anyway (Thanks to the launch 3G bundle deal, I’ll get Super Stardust Delta for free in another 3-4 weeks).

All in all, I’m pleased with the Vita launch; there are plenty of games in plenty of genres, and while most are worth at least playing the demo, some are actually even good!

 

 

02/23/2012

Well, it works

by wfgodbold

Though posting on wordpress is annoying, and it won’t let me upload media (wordpress must use flash).

So, after transferring them to my computer, I have some screenshots of brand new PS Vita fun!

Tales of Innocence R is as good a place to start as any...

 

I even managed to hit PS + Start while fighting to get an action screenshot.

Even Twitter works!

I downloaded the Netflix app, too, but it’s very laggy. I’ll get in more play time tomorrow and over the weekend; for now, it’s back to the law school grind.

I suppose I should thank Lexis Nexis and their student rewards program; if it weren’t for the points they give for research and training, I would have had to pay for this myself! Instead, I traded my points in for Amazon credit and got a huge discount.

02/22/2012

In which Amazon lets me down, Or First World Problems strike home…

by wfgodbold

For some reason, my PS Vita order (which ended up costing me $89, thanks to various amazon.com credits) didn’t ship with release date delivery.

So instead of amazing handheld gaming today, I have to wait almost 24 whole hours for its delivery tomorrow.

I used to think #FirstWorldProblems were something that happened to other people, but now I know better.

They can happen to anyone!

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