Inna Gadda da PS Vita: first impressions
Aug21

Inna Gadda da PS Vita: first impressions

Over the mere five days that I’ve owned a PlayStation Vita it has already incorporated itself into my daily routine.

That is high praise from me! A few years back I was gifted a tablet, and while it was a very fun gadget I never used it after the first couple of days. I have an e-reader that I ignore because it turns out I really love the visceral experience of paper pages. There’s a now very old “gaming laptop” that sits in a cupboard.

The Vita feels good in my hands. It has two little thumbsticks, a d-pad, and the usual four shape buttons. There are left and right top buttons, which for some reason are made from clear plastic and look a little funky. The screen is quite big and bright, and the OS is really intuitive if a little relentlessly cheerful. (Stop jiggling, app buttons!)

ps vita system 500x287 Inna Gadda da PS Vita: first impressions

Shiiiiiiiiiny (from playstation.com)

The last time I bought a handheld console was so long ago that digital distribution didn’t exist, so I was legitimately excited to browse the PS Store and it did not disappoint. Of particular relevance to old people like me is the vast selection of PS One and old PSP titles. WipEout, Parasite Eve, Parappa the Rappa, every classic JRPG — it’s like my college years all over again.

The prices for these old titles is $6-$10 each, which is entirely reasonable. I’m not so interested in new titles (at least not yet), but the PS Store also has a whole big indie section also with reasonable prices that I’m looking forward to exploring.

Lying in bed playing Chrono Trigger is a real treat, and if you’re a fan of the PS library from over the years you’ll find a ton of games. However, and I feel dirty saying this, the Vita is also a solid media device.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos — at the gym, while going to sleep, while stirring things on the stove — and the Vita makes for a pretty sweet video machine. The screen is bigger than my phone, and for whatever reason the YouTube app has many more features and is much easier to use for browsing. Battery life is vastly superior over playing videos on my phone, which makes sense as I assume the Vita was designed to have the screen lit for extended periods of time. (It also doesn’t get hot when in use.)

The big negative for the Vita that I can see is the proprietary SD card slot. You need the storage to hold game files, saved games, downloaded videos, etc., but the official Sony cards are vastly overpriced compared to other more generic micro-SD options.

I honestly got this thing as a bit of retail therapy, but it’s turned into a legit daily gadget. If you’re considering a new handheld gaming device and miss the glory days of the PS One, thus far I would definitely recommend a Vita.

PS: My PSN name is ShoppingWeevil, and we should be friends.

How to get through the first week of the rest of your life (not about games)

Last week my partnership of 18 years .. unpartnered.

I miss blogging and creative output, but I haven’t played any games in a week and honestly I don’t feel like writing about games right now. I’m supposed to be starting a Saint’s Row IV video let’s play tomorrow, so game content will appear again soon. In the meantime, please accept Liore’s five point guide to surviving the first week of the rest of your life, for any major trouble:

1) Drink.

Okay, maybe I should clarify that. Don’t drink if you don’t like drinking, or you have a problem with drinking, or whatever. I’m not saying force yourself to drink. But if you are so inclined, know that it’s okay to dull your senses for a couple of days.

2) Hug animals.

No matter what has gone wrong in your life, animals don’t give a shit. Are you lying in bed wearing a stupid hat, crying unattractively and eating raw cookie dough? That’s cool, the cat still likes you and will accept your pets.

3) Call your friends.

Yes, on a phone. I know, I was shocked too! But hearing the voice (or even better, seeing the face) of people who love you and believe in you can make all the difference.

4) Be sad.

Be sad?! ON IT. But seriously, give yourself permission to be sad, and angry, and numb — possibly all in the space of 5 minutes! I think people often feel as though they should suck it up and be over things already, but if you feel grief you need time to grieve. It’s okay.

5) Be healthy.

Be nice to yourself. Keep going to the gym, go to bed early, make sure what little you eat is nutritious. You are your own best ally at the moment, so be the friend to yourself that you need, not the friend you think you deserve.

The old saying is “one day at a time” but in times of extreme duress I find it helps to think smaller. Things are going to get better every minute of your life that goes by. You will be able to cope better, you will be able to plan better, the pain will be less fresh. It’s going to be okay — you just have to get through the next 60 seconds.

Cat Context 32: Everquest Next revealed! PAX Prime is coming!
Aug15

Cat Context 32: Everquest Next revealed! PAX Prime is coming!

 

cat context vertical Cat Context 32: Everquest Next revealed! PAX Prime is coming!

Everquest Next was revealed at SOE Live last week, and we’re talking about sandboxes, our crafting hopes, and of course voxels.

We talk about the announcement, including gameplay footage, the big technological promises, and .. fingerpainting? Some of us are still unimpressed, while others are Everquest fans who can’t wait to see what the latest edition holds.

Also, PAX Prime is coming up and as frequent attendees we look back at some of our favorite convention memories. What panels do we miss we hadn’t missed? What game demos were the best? Who is the most famous person we’ve seen? Will the PAX Prime show floor be the same without the perennial Bioshock: Infinite booth?

Arolaide is taking a break for baby-having reasons, but Liore is joined by usual co-host Ellyndrial and special guest Vajra!

Note: Liore’s mic is pretty borked for the first 10 minutes of the podcast. Sorry for the bad sound. Those responsible have been sacked.

It would be downright awesome if you gave us a vote on iTunes. :) This episode was originally livestreamed as a Hangout on Air!

* The Everquest Next reveal video, archived on Twitch.
* Massively on Scott Hartsman returning to RIFT.
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

——————————
SUBSCRIBE TO THE RSS || SUBSCRIBE TO iTUNES || LISTEN ON STITCHER

(Don’t forget to leave 5 stars!)

A Survey of General MMO Podcasts

If you enjoy this kind of thing, below is a list of MMO podcasts, updated every couple of months. If I missed your favorite general MMO podcast let me know! I’m always on the prowl for more things to listen to.

(The first two on the list are my own podcasts, because I’m a jerk like that.)

Last Updated: July 31, 2014.

Cat Context We like MMOs, nostalgia trips, complaining about free-to-play, and games with really good hats. New episodes twice a month.

Game On for MMORPG.com Hosts Chris and Jessica record weekly with industry news, reviews, and interviews from the world of MMOs and RPGs.

Beyond Bossfights Interviews with interesting gaming personalities about video gaming, the video game industry, and gaming culture.

Contains Moderate Peril

Horde House

How to Murder Time

Massive Failure

Massively Speaking The podcast for news site Massively.com.

The MMOsketeers The MMOsketeers is a show about the latest developments in the MMO gaming genre and the personal experiences of the hosts as they traverse the wide variety of massively multiplayer online games out there.

MMO Reporter

The Sandbox

A few possibly random notes on EverQuest Next
Aug05

A few possibly random notes on EverQuest Next

Hey, did you hear about EverQuest Next?

The public finally got a look at the hush-hush title on Friday, and there was a flurry of positive response from both amateur game enthusiasts and the pros. Syp and j3w3l posted very thorough round-ups of blogging responses, so if you want an in-depth look at what we know about the game I’d suggest starting there.

As for me.. it’s pretty much the same response I have to every big new title: “hey that sounds neat, don’t screw up the implementation.” So let’s just skip that and mention a few things you may not read yet about EverQuest Next .

The armor looks a lot like WoW.

eqnext warcraft A few possibly random notes on EverQuest Next

Look at that image. See the giant shoulders? The diamond-shaped studs? The little dwarf cap? Remind you of anything? (For further proof, check out the armor on the lion dude from the in-game preview and tell me that doesn’t scream “Alliance guard”.)

Hey, there is nothing wrong with borrowing a little art direction from WoW and heaven knows Blizzard lifted a lot from EverQuest classic, but it’s still a striking similarity.

The technology has a good pedigree.

A lot of people have expressed skepticism about whether SOE can technically accomplish what they promised, and I share the concern. One fact that boosts my confidence is that two of the game’s more unique concepts come from good indie “labour of love” sources.

The promised AI sounds like Storybricks in action. The weird destructible environment uses the Voxel Farm engine, which was created by one guy with a crazy vision.

Of course this doesn’t ensure that it will all work, but my personal feeling is the strong “outsider” influence on the technology might just mean we’re going to see something actually different from other MMOs.

Be gone, question marks.

2013 08 05 02 01 33 TweetDeck A few possibly random notes on EverQuest Next

 

 

 

Sweet.

Voxels!

Voxels? VOXELS. I don’t actually know what “voxels” means but it’s damned fun to say. I have $5 on this becoming the newest MMO industry buzzword.

Does that have any effect on the potential success of Everquest Next? Not really.. I just wanted to say “voxels” some more.

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