All About mattsnibbs
My musing on the latest gaming news, what I'm playing general comments on the state of gaming ect.
So the PlayStation network has spread its joy once again across the USA with my country (Australia) either following very shortly or up as I type this. While many are just glad to have online gaming back this whole situation will leave a bad taste in not just gamers but consumers in general.
Despite the claims that Sony was the victim of a malicious attack and cannot be held responsible is only partly true. They can't be held responsible for the external attack, but they can and should be held accountable for not doing their best to protect 77 million account details.
This rebuild of their networks, which still exclude use of the Store, let's not forget, is as near on an omission you can get that they didn't have adequate measures to store users personal information.
Technical Issues aside this has been an unmitigated PR disaster for Sony too.
The first inkling we got was that the Network was down, no warning not even a hands close to the chest Blog post saying there was unscheduled maintenance in fact there was even a post on the 24th of April, 5 to 7 days after the attack was detected saying 'we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security.' If only we knew then what we knew now.
All the while rumour and speculation was rife, admittedly Sony had bigger things at hand, but the reason they exist, the user base was becoming more uneasy, had my details been stolen? Did I need to worry about cancelling my credit card?
It wasn't until the 27th the came out and said the network had been compromised, and that personal details were exposed and Credit Card information may or may not have been taken. Even to this date it is hard to determine what we should be worried about. 'No evidence' of credit card information being taken (as is the official Sony line) does not allow me to rest easy especially relating to details as sensitive as Credit Card info. Not only that but they categorically stated that CCV numbers were not even asked for, a statement that is categorically false even if it isn't stored on their servers.
Then to add insult to injury they announce servers will be coming back online on the 6th of May 'in the next few days' as a few days goes it wasn't a bad week. If ever there was a time for Sony's unusually quiet (there were 86 blog posts in April and at time of publishing a paltry 13 have been posted in May admittedly a quieter month for releases and no PSN releases to tout but the discrepancy is worth noting) PR department to keep holding their tongue, this was it and they failed yet again.
The announcement of free bonuses from the PSN Store for both PS3 and PSP owners is a step in the right direction, as is news of insurance coverage against identity theft, although the full details remain to be seen and the insurance details have not been sorted through in the AU/EU region.
Despite the measures Sony puts in place to ease themselves back in our trust they have a long way to go, this past month has undone quite a lot of trust built over 15 years, only time will tell if they can fully win us back.
Farewell dear old friend you shall be missed, yet you have not departed this world you have been a shadow of yourself for a while.
You were born unto this world with so much promise, but from the outset it would seem that this world was not enamoured with your good looks, you were ambitious and it seemed that at every turn that ambition would not, and could not be rewarded.
You always did have a thirst for power, but that thirst was partly your undoing also. Spinning, whirling, twirling you were probably much more suited to be a dreamer rather than what you wanted to be. Then you reassessed, downsized, trimmed down, there were several times where we watched you whittle away, sometimes for the good, ultimately you went too far. Everyone had made their decision yours was not the way forward, at least not yet.
You loved the movies. Unfortunately your friends never shared your love, in the end you could not even get to see them any longer, sure you streamlined your life but you forgot what made you so unique.
You were cut down by pirates in your prime, a shame as they were not that aggressive merely talking advantage of your more than good nature. Your parents tried to support you and they supported you well, even if it felt like they were only giving you what your bigger brothers did not want. Unfortunately you found that when you needed it most support from outside parties was lacking, these were the same people that told your bigger brothers that they were true friends and always would be. It appears that your unbeknownst association with pirates was something they could not forgive.
Unfortunately you always came up against an opposition that was every bit your inferior but they had cunning and were wiley they had been in your game for years prior they knew how to be ruthless, and most of all everyone would support them through thick and thin. Above all that they gave everyone what they wanted, and even to the end you still failed to realise that.
The time in the presence of those few that loved you is drawing to a close, already someone is lining to take your place, sure they may be nameless, and promising us so much, but never fear we will remember you, for better or for worse.
Farewell, PSP, you shall be missed.
It is a little late but many things have conspired to keep my from my 2010 game of the year musings until 3 weeks into the new year for this reason I will keep this list short and attempt to limit myself. Also quick apologies to Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, both of which I have played but gotten nowhere near finishing, so I couldn't really consider these for my top 6. Oh and this list will be biased as I haven't played and finished every game finished in the last year.
Best Downloadable game
While I have kept a top 5 I wanted to also give plaudits for the best game to grace PSN Live Arcade and some of the smaller releases on Steam.
There was some good competition with the likes Super Meat Boy, Deathspank and Limbo. In the end Limbo takes it for me, the art style is minimalistic but conveys exactly what it needs to. Death is around every corner but that does not halt progression, but rather death in Limbo is a learning tool, you fall victim to that trap once, but you won't a second time.
Just behind was Super Meat Boy which doesn't redefine the platforming genre but it refines the mechanics so much that you can't help but marvel at how great it is.
5. Alan Wake
At first I was disappointed with Alan Wake, possibly filled with promises of what it could have been. As I went along though I discovered a game that is desperately beautiful, extremely well paced and a genuinely creepy vibe, something that has been lacking in horror games of late.
4. Heavy Rain
I wrote in my review of 6 months ago that it wasn't the best game of the year but it was the most significant, I stand by that statement even with hindsight on my side. Heavy Rain is by no means a flawless game but it gets so much right, it looks fantastic and the narrative, while a little slow to begin with is a strong point, plot holes and all.
Oh and it has move support which actually makes sense, so if you needed one, there's another reason to go back to it.
3. Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 was a game that, on reflection, didn't hold up as well as it might I had this pinned down at number 1 or 2 for the longest time, but reflecting on the narrative, it's actually not that complex for an RPG. The story is of you essentially building a team and making them loyal to you. That's it there is a bit of a story surrounding the abduction of human colonies but it seems almost peripheral and it doesn't feel as fluid as the first game. You know it's a really good game for me trying to justify a top 3 spot.
Everywhere else this is an exceptional game, the horrid inventory system is gone, and so are the more complex RPG elements (that's more of a disappoint me to me). The squad based cover shooting elements are done exceptionally well and the choices you make feel like they have real impact.
Bayonetta is f****** ridiculous. There glad I got that out of the way. A witch that has been survived centuries in a coffin, battling Angels and Gods, switching between dimensions and time, all the while wearing a catsuit made out of her own hair which can transform into an all powerful creature to smite enemies. Yeah just that old one. Oh and did I mention she straps guns to her feet?
Bayonetta essentially borrows the third person button maser, al a God of War and contorts it into its own twisted version and damn is it good. The art and character design are all first rate and the game is so much fun that it hardly matters that the story nears the incomprehensible level.
1. Read Dead Redemption
As soon as I played this game it was going to be number 1 in my eyes, and nothing proved worthy enough to move it. Everything this game did was near enough to perfect, and despite all the complaints of bugs and glitches, I had not a one in some 40 hours of gameplay.
It is easy to level at this game as just GTA with horses and that is about as unfair as it is wrong. This game has so much thought that has gone into it, it had me riveted to the screen just waiting to see who John Marston would meet next and what he would be asked to do for the sake of his family. From beginning to end the game looks fantastic it is obvious that so much time went into creating the world that you traverse., The activities are so varied and the challenges keep you on the look out even on the longest of cross country treks.
I could go on forever singing its praises but I won't, if you haven't played it yet do so.
Honourable mentions to God of War 3 and Civilisation 5 both of which was just pushed out of the top 5 by Alan Wake. It was almost literally a coin toss for that position.
So that's it for 2010. Bring on 2011 and all the wallet destroying action that brings. For the record my 5 most anticipated games at this stage are (no particular order despite being numbered):
2. L.A Noire
3. Uncharted 3
4. Mass Effect 3
5. Infamous 2
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