Thursday, November 26, 2009

Glib Game Reviews: PSN (PS3) Downloadables

Comet Crash: Loving its mix of tower defense and real time strategy. The first TD where you can counter attack!

Flower: The only purchase I regret. The trailers make it look blissful and fluid as you hurtle through lush meadows. The real thing is nothing like that. There is no speed control, and it is very hard to turn when you're going full speed. The result is that you will often miss just one or two petals in a chain, and have to circle back for them--multiple times. This creates a lot of frustration and slows you down. Also, with each group you collect is followed by a mini-cutscene that shows that area blossoming. This occurs so often that it is disruptive. Summary: STAY AWAY. Neat concept but terrible execution that is not as relaxing as they claim.

Mushroom Wars: a unique and frenetic stategy game. A good $5-10 buy that is good to play with a few friends. Sadly lacks online multiplayer or any customization/handicap options for the local MP. It's fun, but these deficiencies will limit the long term potential.

PixelJunk Eden: Beautiful art design, simple but fun game mechanics, great music, and multiplayer co-op too! The only flaw is the life meter countdown that detracts from the designer's aim of relaxation. Still, it's a must-have if you like platformers.

Rag Doll Kung Fu - Fists of Plastic: fun and unique game. Looks fun for multiplayer, but the controls have a bit of a learning curve, so it will take some time to get friends into it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another (Somewhat) Open Letter To Sony

This was prompted by the recent PS3 Firmware 3.10 update, which unexplainably focused on Facebook integration, and promised more in the future. Please shoot me now.
... By linking your PlayStation Network account to your Facebook account, you will have the option for the PS3 to automatically update your Facebook News Feed with Trophy and PlayStation Store activity. You can then check out your updates, and those of your friends, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media favorites through the PS3’s built-in web browser.This is just the beginning of our integration with Facebook...

Additional highlights from update 3.10 include:

  • The Photo category on the XMB has been revamped to make it easier to see more of your photos stored on the PS3.
  • The PSN Friends List has been modified based on feedback we received after update 3.00. Additionally, you can now choose a color for your PSN ID on the XMB.

(via Playstation Blog)

Dear Sony,

I appreciate the better photo layout, but the other stuff seems either minor (coloring your avatar), or misdirected (Facebook integration). So many Firmware updates… and yet few have done anything to actually improve my PS3 experience. It’s such a waste of resources when there are many more important things you could be working on in the firmware updates.

1)Instead of Playstation Home (ie Second Life Redux) how about better Friend finding for multiplayer (ie a universal way to find/join friends that doesn’t require a clunky, game-specific method such as in Rock Band 2). How about cross-game chat? Xbox360 has had that for a long time. I can't believe Facebook ranked anywhere near as high on users' want lists.

2) How about the “Memory Manager” others mentioned, so that I can selectively delete DLC and saved games?

3) And a fix so that I can organize my games into albums without typing each cAsE-SeNsiTiVe album name for EACH file? Seriously, it feels like UNIX? For a company that prides itself on shiny gadgetry, the amount of interface polish is lacking.

You might want to check your priorities. Give me some of these types of important features before worrying about how to color my avatar or clog up my already overwhelmingly bloated Facebook experience.