Friday, July 26, 2013

My (positive) experience with PS+

One thing that's nice about Playstation Plus so far are the trials. There's about 100 games available for a 1hr trial. The trials are the full game so if you choose to buy the game you only have to download a 100kb download to unlock it. Any trophies gained and story you've completed you get to keep whether or not you buy the game either. Thanks to this, I know that some games I thought I'd want to get I've come to learn otherwise while finding out games I didn't think I'd be interested in are actually quite fun. 

Another awesome thing so far is also the fact that every game that's free on Playstation Plus I get to keep as long as I have PS+. So that means, so far since getting PS+ a few days ago that I have gained XCOM, Battlefield 3, Jet Set Radio, Saints Row The Third, LittleBigPlanet Karting, Labyrinth Legends, Pinball Arcade, Malicious, Machinarium, Knytt Underground and Oddworld: Munch's Odyssey to my PS3 collection. Also, If I ever get a vita I also will have Knytt, Metal Slug XX, Gravity Rush, Pinball Arcade and Zero Escape. Some of the games that are for both utilize cloud saving and allow me to use the same save file on vita and PS3 as well, which is awesome. 

For $50/yr and I got all this in the first 3 days, that's pretty epic. I didn't even download all the free games because I knew I wouldn't play them all because I wasn't interested in some of them. There's also new games each month available to download as well, apparently it's two new PS3 games a month and one or two vita games. 

And people wonder why I like my PS3 more than 360. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Xbox One making another 180 and confirming self-publishing

While at first this sounds great, they've already burned so many bridges with nearly every indie developer that's worked with them at this point that no one really wants to go anywhere near them. One indie developer (specifically the man behind Retro City Rampage) said, and I quote:

"After my experience working with them to release on Xbox 360, I have no interest in even buying an Xbox One, let alone developing for it. The policy changes are great, but they don't undo the experience I had. I'm not ready to forget what I went through. Working with Microsoft was the unhappiest point of my career. Policies are one thing, but developer relations are another."

That's pretty heavy and was the resounding remark from indie developers that have worked with them. Phil Fish was quoted from an interview, which he was asked: "Interviewer: Is there a chance to see your next game be ported onto next gen consoles?   Phil: Not Xbox." 

Then there's the fact that Microsoft has shown that they don't even know what they're doing with their own console, yet it's supposed to come out in less than 4 months?! What are you doing! Do you even know? This is news to every indie developer, excluding maybe Notch, but that's it.

They haven't even talked about how it'll work in the marketplace. What they've said so far is that it's all going to be in the same place, but what does that mean? It's now a Windows 8 console, which developers already don't like the Windows 8 platform as it is with major players like Gabe Newell, who happens to be the owner and creator of Valve and Steam, saying that Windows 8 was basically trash for gaming developers. If it's going to be anything like the current Microsoft store, which it most likely will as the majority of the UI looks incredibly similar/the same as Xbox 360, then that's just another reason to not develop games for it. Sony has a very distinct section for Indie titles to make them easy to find. Sony also holds a huge number of exclusive indie games that will be big seller indie titles, such as the next game from Supergiant Games, those guys that made a little game that no one's heard of named Bastion. The game in question is named Transistor by the way.

At this point, all Xbox One really has going for it would be Halo, and that's not saying much as Bungie isn't even making Halo, they're making Destiny, which is available to PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. You'll also notice that more games this year were demo'd on a PS4 and not the usual Xbox, including Bungie's new title Destiny. That wasn't a coincidence. The PS4 is easier to tap into its full power as they don't have esRAM like the Xbox One while also having GDDR5 RAM instead of DDR3. 
This has turned into the Xbox One-Eighty at this point. Here's to expecting the console to have a defective rate due to increasing changes during the final stretch as well as being rushed to retail at the same time as the PS4. I wonder what will change next. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Worst hotel for the price? We think so.

So my girlfriend, younger brother and myself are going to anime expo this weekend. So in order to avoid sleeping in a car or something we decided to get a hotel. You know, something that shouldn't be all that bad, especially if you're staying at a hotel for a few days and you spend $100+ a night, right? Well, we've all been fooled! This... This is the story of our first night at the Radisson hotel in L.A.  

So we get there after a decent drive to L.A. And it's pretty late since we had to go to work before driving, so we're all a little tired and hoping to just get into the room, eat some food and hit the sack. Normal, right? Well the check in process was just fine. It was nice and painless and we went up to our room, got in there and from that point on it was downhill. 

The first magical room we got was pretty bad. The fridge was broken, the thermostat was diagonal on the wall, the hair dryer in the bathroom was hanging off the wall, the faucet was leaking and to top or all off there was blood on the sheets of one of the beds as well as some dirt. We were all pretty blown away by the level of quality when the room is $100+ a night and they only have $30 valet parking to boot. We called and asked them to bring in some new sheets, which we waited about 30 more minutes before calling again and asking where our sheets were and where the coffee pot was that we asked for before we realized the damages; so they gave us a new room just as they should have in the first place. 

Next room was better in the sense that the sheets didn't have blood stains and dirt all over them. The fridge wasn't broken as well... Because there wasn't one in the room at all. The sleep number mattresses controllers were broken, and the tv didn't work (we did check to make sure it was plugged in). Then we decided to go down to the front desk to talk to them in person to see if we could get these fixed, but the elevator never stopped at our floor after 17 minutes of waiting. So lucky us, we got to hike down 8 flights of stairs to get to the front desk. 

So after taking to the front desk again, they offered us a different room with normal beds and no tv at all... Wait what? So we are supposed to accept a downgrade and supposedly there's no monetary difference between the two rooms so we won't get any kind of money back on this downgraded room?! Hell. No. We were sent to another room at this point as they're acidly trying to get us the hell away from the front desk, and rightly so. 

So, room number three. This room is a floor above the second one so we grab our stuff and hit the stairs. Again. We get into this room and it's finally decent. Yeah sure the beds are broken, the walls are paper thin and the air conditioner must be ancient as it barely pumps any cold air out of it at all, but it's 11:43 at this point and we're all exhausted at this point from the workday, driving and then the stair trips so we finally just say $@#% it and stay in this one. It was obvious at this point that we weren't going to get a room where everything works and we all just wanted to go to sleep and get ready for anime expo tomorrow. 

What we learned from this experience? Never, ever stay at the Radisson hotel. Ever. Oh, and to top it all off, they have no self parking and the valet parking is $30/night. Fuck. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Surgery... On my face! And child trauma abound.

So I just had my surgery today. Since I can remember I haven't been able to breath out of my nose. My mom thinks that it's because of an accident I had as a child that was pretty awful. I'll go into more detail on what that is later but I have to say that she's probably right. Even if she were to be wrong it wouldn't change the fact that I haven't been able to use my nose for breathing for many, many years. If it has been messed up since the accident then it would be around 20 years or so back when I was about 4 years old. 

Well, as for what happened that was a fairly awful accident when I was a kid, that's an interesting one. I was being a kid and doing something that I'm sure most kids have done at some point. I was spinning in circles to get dizzy and see the different lights and what not when I was outside with my friend, like most kids do, but not everything went according to plan this time around. My mom came out and said that I should stop but of course, being a kid and feeling like you're invincible and all knowing, I shouted back "No!" and kept on spinning. My mom comes over to grab me and stop me before I get too dizzy and fall, but it was too late. 

I spun enough that when I did stop, my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I dropped face first into gravel. You can guess how this went, except you'd be wrong in how much damage this fall did. 

When my mom picked me up, the impact did more than anyone had expected. Since I fell unconscious, I wasn't able to put my hands out in front of me, and my face was the only thing available to break the fall. As she lifted me up, there was already blood everywhere. I had broken one of my front teeth in half and the other one decided it was a great idea to aid my jaw in biting completely through my tongue. Then, even better of my other front tooth, the one that went through my tongue, it ended up falling/breaking out and getting stuck in the newfound hole in my tongue. I also smashed my nose pretty well, and it's been very slightly crooked ever since. 

So it was just a tad worse than the usual fall a kid has, but only a little. I was really good at getting hurt, just ask my parents. Thankfully I have an amazing mom who did everything she could to make sure I was ok and took me to the doctor more times than most kids and always found great doctors. If I didn't have such an amazing mother, I wouldn't have made it this far in life before getting myself killed or handicapped. 

Anyways, I've finally had the opportunity to fix my nose and be able to breathe from it. I don't even know what it's like to breathe with my nose. I'm really nervous as it's a lifestyle change. I'll be able to run without getting winded nearly as easily; my favorite foods may taste different as I may gain a sense of smell (I currently can't smell nearly anything); I'll sleep much better than I ever have; it may even fix my very consistent, as in 3 times or more a week headaches. 

I'm really excited and exceedingly nervous. I'm nervous for things like my favorite foods tasting different. I live to eat and would be exceeding sad if my favorite foods were now disgusting. They again, all the perks that will be so exceedingly beneficial to my every day life from this surgery make it all worth it. 

You only get to live once and this will make my life much better than ever before!