Archive for category Soapbox

Activision: Stop Being Console-ist

Hello Activison,
Look at Black Ops on the PS3,
Now look at it on the 360,
Now back at your PS3,
Now back at the 360.
Sadly, the PS3 version doesn’t look or play like the 360 version.
But if you started giving the PS3 version the same priority as the 360 version, they would be the same.
Now look down.
Back up.
Where are you?
You are in the game Uncharted 2, looking at a game your game could look like.
Now what’s in your hand?
Back at me. I have it.
It’s the controller in the hands of an irate gamer upset at the console-ism Activision is subjecting us to.
Look again.
The game is now awesome.
Anything is possible when the game is given the attention it deserves.
I’m on a soapbox.


PlayStation Store Bug?

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, and with parental duties taking over at the moment, the first chance I get to do something for myself and I decided to write about a major gripe I have with the PS Store.

I personally don’t know of many that have experienced the issue I faced not so long ago, but I do know after googling around that this is something that has existed ever since the PS3 was launched back in 2006/7.

So, what was the issue?

Well, just before PS Move came out (yes, it was that long ago), I decided to purchase Flight Control HD as it was a game I was quite addicted to on my iPhone, and with the game having Move compatibility I was completely sold on having it. So I decided to purchase it the day it came out on the PS Store. As normal, I continued to go through my purchase on the store and BAM! Your credit card details are invalid. Err….hang on – invalid! WT#?

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PS3 Chat is SO BAD I’m Resorting to Skype

This is what voice chat is like playing Borderlands with my friend Steve:

“Henning, I PFFFFFFFFFT PFFFFFFFFFT the ________ while PFFFFFFFFT and _________ ________.”
“Steve, what? I can’t hear you. Can you say that again?”
“Henning? PFFFFFFFFFFFT. PFFFFFFFFFT. _______ ________ ________ .”
“Sorry, Steve, I can’t make you out at all.”
“______ ________ ______”
“______ ________ ______”

This is what voice chat is like playing MW2 with a group of six of us:

“I see a guy around the ______. Ah! he got me!”
“Yeah, I _______. I don’t think he’ll be a problem anymore.”
“No, he’s back. I think ________ ________ ________ white truck.”

This is voice chat playing with Steve on MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (I think it was…):

“Whoa! Did you see that?”
“Yeah! Dude, you have serious control issues!”
“That barrel jumped out at me like it had frog legs!”
“You idiot. You just can’t see past the end of your honking nose. Good for me, though. I’m gonna win cause of that.”

So what’s the deal here? Why is Borderlands SO bad and Pacific Rift is SO good? And why does MW2 kinda fall in between?

I heard somewhere that Microsoft basically handles the voice chat for developers, while Sony devs have to do a lot more work. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but my experiences seem to corroborate that sentiment. And it’s really really starting to annoy me.

So a week ago when I was playing Borderlands with Steve I pulled out my iPhone, booted up Skype, and lay it on my chest. Steve had his laptop (I think) next to him running Skype. So Steve and I played Borderlands using Skype for voice chat. Did it work? Like a charm! I had no issues whatsoever. His voice was as clear as fiber optic glass. I never missed a word, and he didn’t ask me to repeat myself once. To be clear: Skype was running over the same internet connection I was using to play the game. So it’s not an internet bandwidth thing (in case any of you are thinking that).

Sony really needs to step up to the plate here. They need to improve the Bluetooth chat. Improve the USB chat. Make a rock solid library for ALL developers to use so that EVERY game has rock solid voice chat. Why bother with online gaming if you can’t communicate effectively?

Come on Sony, work with me here!


FIFA Rage Quitters

Without doubt the biggest problem plaguing FIFA 10’s online play is rage quitters, in a game that heavily relies on 1v1 matchmaking it can render playing online almost pointless as the match cannot continue if your opponent has left. In a racing game or shooter like Modern Warfare 2 if one person leaves during a match its not noticeable as there are plenty of other players to keep the game going but in FIFA or other similar sports games its over as soon as they quit. So infuriating is this that there is even a twitter set up to report quitters at a recent personal favourite being this one.

There is definitely nothing more frustrating than scoring a goal or two in the opening minutes of a match and having your opponent quit and lost nothing and the match isn’t counted as a win for you. Just try earning that 100 online wins trophy in FIFA 10 where your opponent quitting doesn’t count for a win. I’ve been trying to decide what the best possible solution for tackling this issue could be and came up with a couple of suggestions.

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