Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cold Hearted Consumers

According to this article, the Playstation NetNotwork being down is costing Capcom millions of dollars in revenue. Many, of course, couldn't care less, and this is a problem I feel needs addressing. After all, Capcom are pioneers in the gaming industry, bringing us classics such as the Street Fighter series, the Megaman series, the Devil May Cry series, the Resident Evil series and many more. Yet so many are speaking out with cruel tongue and saying that Capcom deserves their loss, that Capcom needs to learn a lesson, and perhaps they wouldn't be losing money if they actually sold complete games on disc!

How cruel and cold hearted we can be as educated consumers...

A company that has given it's fanbase so much has earned the right to sell half a game on disc, and withhold the rest as DLC! A company that has pioneered so much has earned the right to sell hundreds of dollars worth of disc locked content! Don't you people understand this?! Depriving such a company of it's rightful nickel and dimed content is criminal! Just think... some poor Capcom executive's child, right now... would be in tears as his parent returns home to break the sad, sordid news; He will only receive one solid gold jewel encrusted iPhone this year as opposed to the two he was promised. Yet elsewhere, another poor Capcom executive would be sitting around the dinner table in their immense, palatial mansion on some private luxury island somewhere, breaking the horrible news to his family; Their annual million dollar end of year trip to the Moon has just been cancelled as they can no longer afford it, and instead they must make do with a common location such as Las Vegas, or the Bahamas.

Just think... Families could be ruined! Childhoods destroyed! Imagine the families being forced to wear the same clothes for more than a day! The humanity... the sheer humanity of it... And yes, all this can come about because us cruel, callous, uncaring, unfeeling consumers have the gall, the nerve to refuse to purchase disc locked content.

Indeed, how DARE we, as dirty, filthy, common peasant consumers, demand that the likes of Capcom, an entity so large and majestic they should be worshipped as the Gods themselves... sell us COMPLETE GAMES on disc?! HOW DARE WE?! Furthermore... how dare we REFUSE to pay for the annual rehash of the same product from last year that could, and should, have been released as a proper DLC addon to a title, such as Super Street Fighter IV to vanilla Street Fighter IV... How dare we REFUSE to pay for it as if it were a new and original title?!

Our crimes as the cold and unfeeling consumers we are run deep, my friends... We have also rejected, and refused to believe that DLC content such as Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath in Marvel vs Capcom 3 is actually real unfinished DLC at the time of launch, and that it wasn't disc locked content. In the face of our God, our Creator... we have shown the most blase and base mistrust. Such a crime alone is enough to damn us for life... Yet our crimes continue! They continue!


So please, have a heart, and open your wallet to Capcom. The next time you see that costume pack on sale for 30% off. Refuse the temptation, and INSIST that you buy it at FULL price, lest you deny some poor executive's child somewhere their rightful, silver-spooned childhood. We must remember that our place as dirty, filthy peasant consumers is simply to accept, with gratefulness and thanks, what Capcom deign fit to serve us. Remember, 40% of a game on disc is a PRIVILEGE, not a right!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama's Dead

So! Osama Bin Laden is dead.  All I can really say to that is after all these years of hiding, whoda thunk he'd have used his real info on PSN?

Not that it matters, they probably rolled a new Osama by now. Though one does wonder if they rolled Alliance this time. 10 years of playing Horde has got to suck after a while.

Oh, and this time, don't pick a server with permadeath. That shit just isn't cool.

PS: Just had a thought... whatever happened to using 7 proxies too?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Things just keep getting better for Sony as of late. Now that a lot of talk on just how insecure the innards of the Playstation Network really was is making the rounds, Sony are copping it from all sides. Naturally, talk is just talk, and we don't really know if the information available to us is actually true or not. However, going by old hacker talk on various 'scene' sites when the PS3 was first jailbroken, I would be inclined to believe that at least SOME of the horrendous failure would actually be true.

Sony, if anything, most likely put all their eggs in one basket and never expected the PS3 to get compromised in the way that it was. Indeed, the Cell Broadband Engine architecture, on paper AND in practice, is arguably one of the most secure CPU designs to date. Pretty much any traditional attack vector commonly used to hack systems is blocked by the fact that none of the master root keys for decryption are in any form of software, but in hardware instead. This, if anything, made the PS3 near unhackable for the longest period of time. Even when GeoHot originally claimed he had hacked the PS3, what he really got was two shades of jack fuck all. He had managed to secure control to the hypervisor, and had the ability to execute unsigned code on the Cell's main PPC core. However... the PPC core, if you read IBM's document on how the Cell BE really works, is of little to no real value. Unless he could somehow capture the root key of secrecy that was embedded on the CPU die itself, the CPU cannot be snooped.

Sony believed in this security, and more than likely had one extra layer of protection: The layer of 'people are generally too lazy to give a fuck' when things get too difficult. Numerous people had tried and failed, and the general mentality is that if you cannot even compromise the outer workings of the console itself, you will be unable to obtain details on how the console talks to the network. Of course this isn't true, as anyone with half a mind who wanted to put a packet snooper on their network could have easily traced the comms going to and from the PS3. But, the illusion of an impregnable fortress wall was there. The illusion of 'well if the console itself is this hard to hack, then the network has to be secure too'.

Then there was most likely one other final bit of 'security' in place: Sony had not given anyone a reason to attack them. Indeed, out of the 3 main platforms available this generation, the PS3 is the most open of the lot. It was the only region free console for gaming, thus importers were happy... it had a facility for installig a 3rd party OS (OtherOS) which kept the homebrew people happy. Sony basically did the right thing by most everybody and gave ENOUGH to take away enough reasons for anyone to start poking at their walls.

So where did this all go wrong? Well, removing the OtherOS install option would be the first big mistake. After GeoHot had 'hacked the PS3', Sony's response was to remove a feature in the name of security. If anyone had any brains at all up at Sony HQ, they would have simply let it be. GeoHot got practically nothing, and it did not warrant a response at all. But, in the name of 'security', they go and remove a feature... Everyone knows that you just do not take features away, especially not when it was an ADVERTISED FEATURE of the product, which would have driven a large number of enthusiasts to buy the product in the first place. Not to mention the fucking US Air Force is one of such users.

Then to make things worse, despite the class action lawsuits levelled against them and the fact that you simply do not REMOVE AN ADVERTISED FEATURE, they begin to show their arrogance and god complex attitude and demand that the lawsuits be dismissed. Naturally, when you take things away that people used to have, things that a specific crowd bought the console for in the first place, they start to try to take back what they used to have. One would like to believe that if Sony had simply relented and given OtherOS back at this point, everything would be just fine today and their gaping security holes in the Playstation Network would have never come to light.

But, nope, just like any other god complexed multi-billion dollar company... They may disagree with your opinion, and they will defend to the death your right to have an opinion. Nevermind the fact that it is the people, the paying customers, that made them big. Apparently biting the hand that feeds is a case for good business practice and customer service. Sony doesn't return the OtherOS feature, and start playing dirty in court by dragging out the proceedings and using every last option they can to defend to the death the right to remove a feature that people previously paid for.

So what did they honestly think people were going to do? Roll over and take it? Now they had finally given people a reason to start poking at their security, even if just to take back what we previously had. From here, the rest really is academic... When you break into someone's house, you tend to find a lot more than just what you previously had... and basic human greed shines through and you tend to take a lot more than what you were entitled to, while generally throwing excuses to justify the crime. Indeed, there is enough blame on the hacker side as well in blowing open Sony's Epic Fail. I guess the new definition for random number is '4', right Sony?

But, regardless... things just go from bad to worse. Hackers finally compromise the PS3 using an unpatchable hole in Sony's PS3 operating system, and with the cat well and truly out of the bag, Sony would be left with only one realistic option to take. Which would be join Microsoft and Nintendo in accepting their console has been hacked, and join them in playing the cat and mouse game that has existed since time immemorial.

Or so we'd like to think anyway. But no, Sony is Sony... Sony is God, how dare you suggest otherwise?! Sony are infallible!... and pick up that can!

Instead of taking the realistic option, they go and try to put the cat back in the bag and start suing everyone left right and center. What did they honestly think this was going to do? I can understand the logic and reasoning behind trying to make an example out of someone. But there is a limit to fearmongering. You especially do not blatantly show the world that because you are big, huge and richer than God, that you are invincible and the legal system exists for your benefit, not for the little man. Us little people have known for a very long time that there is no JUSTICE system in the world. There is a LEGAL system, and that system is tempered by cold hard cash. But the last thing we need is to have that blatantly shoved in our faces.

So yeah, well done Sony *golfclap*... You have now given everyone, the people in general, a true reason to hate you. You have shown yourself as the typical stereotypical archetype of the 'big dirty evil corporation' that deserves to be taken down and you are giving a five-star performance on acting out that role. Now that you have finally given many people a reason to start punching back, don't be too surprised that your glass jaw starts shattering before too long.

All in all, you have failed beyond epic fail, and have only compounded that fail with more fail. Indeed, if I could submit a new definition for the word 'fail' to the Oxford dictionary, I would simply redirect it to 'Sony'. While many dislike the inconvenience of the Playstation Network being down, many, like me, are sitting back and enjoying watching the 'big dirty evil corporation' get what's coming to them. I don't give you my money on the PSN because I worship you Sony, I give you money for providing a service, and security. You have failed in providing both at this point. But I don't mind too much... I'm willing to give up that service, if it means I get to see the big dirty evil corporation get taken down a few notches.

That in itself, my friends, is priceless. Grab the popcorn and enjoy the fail while it lasts, as I'm sure for many, this will be the last Sony product and/or service that they will ever buy or subscribe to. I will not be buying the Playstation 4, or whatever your next gen console is going to be called in 2014. I'm sure many feel the same way.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to spot an addict. PSN edition.

Mentioned pretty much everywhere including this blog is the downtime of Playstation Network. Even if you don't use the service you'd have had to be living a rock not to at least heard about it by now. I as well use PSN's service, and frankly have been amazed at the
immaturity of some of my fellow user base over this.

There has been many many threads of "discussion" over the downtime, to which I use the term loosely, as finger pointing, name calling, and general temper tantrums hardly constitute discussion. In all its looking very much like several of these people flipping out show the signs of withdrawal, much like an addiction.

People are having to come to grips with the fact their their second life they've built on this service is not immortal and now separated from it have been thrown back into cold dark reality, leaving them confused or frightened.
As said before on this blog, people put too much worth into something that's as fragile as glass and as worthless in the real world as a bag of shit. Many people are flipping out cause they are disconnected from their social clique (as they lack one in the real world) and they no longer can see their shiny achievement badges that make them feel special.

As I stated in the beginning of this post I am a PSN user, and stated before in the blog I am a trophy collector. How have I been fairing you likely wonder? I've been playing other games and/or going out and hanging out with my friends, cause while I enjoy collecting trophies its just a time waster, I feel no worth from them, yet so many have their whole lives wrapped up in these services which boggles my mind.

I share Shirakani's view of Sony deserved an attack on their systems. The attack may not have had the purest of intentions itself but it was well needed. So I'm happy to wait and do other things with my life while they fix their shit, and maybe (but unlikely) they may return with a degree of humility. This is what any level headed user is doing as well.

If PSN had this level of freak outs and withdrawal shakes. I say Facebook or Twitter needs to be next. I'd like to open the next day's news paper to a few thousand suicides. Lord knows we need the population decrease.

MUSINGS: The PSN Debacle

Going on a full week now, and there's nobody out there who doesn't know that the Playstation Network is down. Today, Sony have finally come clean about the hack and that user data may have very well been compromised. What gets me however isn't the fact I'm unable to play COLLODOOTY or whatever other piece of shit current-gen game with 4 hours of real content and shoddy tacked on multiplayer in the name of gameplay... I don't buy those games, it's called being an educated consumer. What does get to me is the fact that quite a while ago when the PS3's security was cracked and fail0verflow released all the nice details... a number of people pointed out, after digging a bit further, that credit card data is sent unencrypted over the PSN.

Now one would think that after news like this gets out, Sony would either take steps to secure their network further, or if indeed it was a fallacy, step up and debunk the rumor and thus assuage any user fears over the security of their data. Right?

Nope. Sony, being Sony, did the only thing that could be expected of them: Ignore it and instead, continue suing a 21 year old kid and trying to put the cat back in the bag. Because, after all, they are Sony! They are thus infallible and perfect. Daring to suggest otherwise will get you sued! Oh and... pick up that can!

I guess nobody at Sony ever heard of not throwing punches if you have a glass jaw.

When they finally discovered the security breach, three whole days after it actually happened, then they go and take the PSN down. Three days though... Too little too fucking late? HOURS is enough for compromised data to be put to use, but three days, geez. One would also like to think if they'd dropped the god complex and actually LISTENED to the people like GeoHot who were offering to actually help them FIX their security holes rather than sue them instead to try and put the cat back in the bag, that they wouldn't be in this situation.

But no, they are Sony, they are infallable and god! How dare you suggest otherwise?! Want to be sued?!... Pick up that can!

But, as we all are generally quite aware. Multi-billion dollar corporations like to believe they are too big and untouchable, and too invincible, and also are above the law and have the right to create their own rules and expect them to be legally enforceable in court. Anyone who owns a PS3 now knows about the whole Sony vs GeoHot debacle and how Sony pretty much had the courts in their pocket the entire time.

Which... of course, leads me to my current train of thought, however wrong it may well be. I'll just go off and state for the record that I am most likely going to be wrong in what I am about to say, hence the title of this entry as mere musings. If you are unable to accept this fact, then stop reading now.

My current train of thought is simple: First, Sony very obviously used their financial might to twist the courts so heavily in their favor, that the only reason GeoHot got off with a settlement is the fact they really, really have absolutely no case, and the fact that the cat really, really isn't going back in the bag no matter what they do to him. They had to have known that (I hope...).

But, in the process of buying out the courts, they made it very, very clear to anybody that trying to fight this battle LEGALLY, ie "the right way" wasn't going to work. It was about as fair as a Zimbabwean presidential election. So naturally, what happens when proper due process fails? The shit hits the fan and the fight turns dirty. Sony succeed in pissing off Anonymous, the hive mind of the internet. It's no open secret that even many LEGIT USERS of PS3/PSN were taken aback at how dirty Sony were playing.

So naturally, when the established legal process fails, and the little man finally realizes that the only way they are going to stand any form of chance is to play DIRTIER than the dirty corporation... Then you have a really, really nasty situation just waiting to blow up. First it began with the usual DDOS crap, which worked to knock PSN offline for all of... probably two hours at best. Of course, it didn't last nor did it matter a damn.

But, resistance is resistance, right? The anonymous many have taken a stand against Sony, the big evil corporate giant, etc. Here's the thing too that many are incapable of understanding: Anonymous is NOT a unified conglomerate, nor is it any semblance of an ORGANIZATION. It's literally mindboggling how the media nowadays refers to it as one would an actual NAMED ENTITY. It is anything BUT! You have sites like this appearing to be a 'front' for Anonymous, but this only serves to drive the misconception further down the wrong path.

Anonymous is NOT an organization, get that through your heads you moronic FauxFox News thinkalikes.

Now, anonymous has gone and publicly denied any involvement. Yeah, right, how do they even know that? The DDOS attempt has failed, and of course, not everyone would have been happy with the idealistic 'war with no casualties' that the initial group of faggots proposed. The reason the first attack was stopped was that they didn't want to inconvenience legit gamers.

Ok, that's very noble of you to think that... but you find me anywhere, a war fought without blood being spilt, I'll show you a Nintendo first party game. *trollface.jpg*. Like I said before, Anonymous is NOT a unified conglomerate, and while many will be bored enough to go along with any 'planned' attack, there are many who have their own agendas. I believe the current PSN attack was carried out by those who have their own agenda.

If I were to think about anyone who would have enough real hate for Sony... See, "hate" is a very strong word. Everyone casually tosses it out there all the time, but it doesn't come close to TRUE hate. If someone truly, from the bottom of their heart, hates a person, or an entity... hates enough to kill, hates enough to destroy... hates enough to sacrifice their own life for the destruction of said entity... It can be one hell of a driving force. The only thing I could think of is this guy. He's been /r/aided twice by Sony now, and twice have they taken his shit. If anyone were to have enough of a motive to hit back really, really hard, it would be him... Or people who support him.

Now of course, I'm not saying that he did it because, obviously, I don't know whether he did or he didn't, and once again these are just musings. But the timing of the overall attack on Sony was a little bit too convenient, and I doubt everyone was going to let Sony get away with their dirty tactics unscathed. Just because you're a huge multinational organization doesn't mean you're invincible. They're learning that reality the hard way now.

Either way, while I am also a PSN user, and someone who's details most likely have been compromised... I also believe the attack needed to happen. Yeah, I said it, hate mail stops at the door. Sony, up until now, have bullied people in the courts, perverted the normal course of justice with money, and their current EULA for the PSN is something that would make Hitler go "shit I wish I thought of that...". They were long, long overdue for a real serving of reality, that when you start throwing punches and you have a glass jaw, someone ultimately will punch back. Give anyone a reason to SERIOUSLY punch back and you have the current situation as it stands.

We still don't know when the PSN is coming back, Sony's stock price took a dive when they were finally forced to come clean about what was or wasn't compromised, and hey, for all we know, they have probably lost a lot of money on this. Of course, this isn't going to really change anything... We most likely aren't going to get OtherOS back as a result of this. All it really is is a huge black eye to the all-powerful oh-so-mighty evil corporation that believed it was invincible and god. A strike from mortals, as it were, as a sign that we do indeed exist, and that we won't take shit lying down. Of course I could be totally wrong about all this, and chances are I probably am totally off base. Whoever attacked Sony may well be a profiteer out for self-gain just exploiting a huge hole in their defenses, without a care in the world for anything else. That's a rather likely scenario too.

Who knows really, I don't, you don't... the only ones who do know are the ones who carried out the deed. You and I know they won't be talking anytime soon. Those with true power are the ones you never hear from, all you see are the results of their actions. It's those with big mouths like GeoHot that you hear from and never see anything worthwhile at all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The (Vidya) Wasteland Survival Guide - Part 1

Its the year 2011.... The golden age of Genesis and Snes has long past, a new oppressive industry has come to power in the land of GameIndustri.  If you wish to survive, you will need help. Don't forget your guide.

In this series I will try to help people (that don't "demo" before they buy) save some money with general opinions about things they might be on the fence about. we'll be covering many topics over the course of this series. but today's topic.

DLC - Finding the Gems in the turd ocean

Like it or hate it. These days DLC is god damn everywhere, while most of them are crap there are a few gems out there. The ones covered ahead are to be some of the best "in my opinion" DLC out there to help consumers. Also to put it out there now, Age means nothing in this article, if its this gen and it was good. I am going to try to list it.

The grading scale will look somewhat like this.

(if to goes past here its not really going to be listed, for this part of the DLC article anyway.)

Bioshock 2 - Minerva's Den

Price - $9.99
Overall - Excellent-Average (more on "average" below)
Availability - PS3/360/ "PC" (announced. but seriously don't hold your breath)

Quite simply put, this is what Bioshock 2 should have been, in this decent sized add-on, average of 3 hours if do the "take in the sights" aapproach along with replays on multiple difficulties, you play the role of Subject Sigma another of the first run big daddy series who has been recently liberated from its mind control (and apparently the sister bond, cause none of that bullshit from the main story need apply here).

You are sent to Minerva's Den, the central processing hub of Rapture and home to computers that pre-date the birth of computers on the surface, to find a still working transport sub that has a IFF to bypass Rapture's missile defenses and escape to surface with by Tenenbaum along with recovering the most advanced technology of Minerva's Den: The Thinker, a program algorithm so advanced that it can predict the future.

The Story and Pacing of MD is perfect, it also hosts a new plasmid type, Vortex, which is a blast to use if you pardon the pun. MD is a facinating place to explore, something new from Rapture, and fleshes out the city's lore even more. Lastly the plot throws a beautiful twist that I didn't see coming until only a few steps shy of when it happened, its nice when a twist is done WELL and not lame, its such a rarity these days.

The main game could have taken notes from this DLC in all seriousness, and such the main reason this has a -average rating and not straight excellent is the fact you have to own Bioshock 2 in all its turd glory to play this. Thankfully BS2 is cheap now days so if you can afford the few bucks or are a weird person and actually think BS2 wasn't inferior to BS in almost every way imaginable, grab this DLC or as I like to call it "BS2 - Off the Record"

Resident Evil 5 - Lost in Nightmares

Price - $9.99*
Overall - Exceptional
Availability- PS3/360
*(also pack in with Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition)

Ever wish for the old days of Resident evil? Where atmosphere mattered a lot more? Well while this DLC doesn't completely take you there, it tries its best to. And ends up delivering a better co-op challenge than even the base game, hows that for you?

Plot summery is this takes place before the events of resident evil 5 and are the direct events leading to Jill Valentine's "death" also in turn is a keystone event in the fall of umbrella arc as this is the fall of Oswell E. Spencer.

The game play itself is less "action-y" than RE5 itself. Focusing more on the survival and creepy atmosphere of the Spencer Estate (The estate itself has many nods to manor in RE1 as jokes). Ammo is scarce on higher difficulties, making what few enemies there are a actual threat instead of being a nuisance. The puzzles are pretty much all co-op oriented, and were more thought out than 5's making them more fun to do. The DLC ends on note that's weak (cause its very action oriented) and very cool at the same time cause of how its done. I don't wish to spoil too much. If you are a fan of actual horror RE instead of Dynasty Warriors: Zombies and guns edition. This is for you.

Also I want to give a honorable mention to the other RE5 DLC: Desperate Escape for being truly a challenging DLC on higher difficulties. but its not enough to warrant a whole separate review cause it did nothing special but be "RE5: another story".

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout

Price - $9.99*
Overall - Excellent
Availability- PS3/360
*(also pack in with Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition)

When we first heard the concept of DLC, people thought "expansion packs delivered cheaper for all", overall that hope has been dashed completely, but every once in awhile one delivers expansion pack level content. This is one of those times.

The main storyline for Point Lookout is not the meat of the game (only roughly 2-3 hours, unique gear at the end, standard FO3 fare) the meat is in its side quests and landscape, there are plenty of random things to check out, and plenty of loot for the Wasteland scavenger (I easily blew an additional 8 hours on screwing around in Point Lookouts surroundings) . However be warned! The denizens of Point Lookout are not for the faint of heart and will prove quite the challenge for the low level wanderer.

Challenge? check. Plenty to do? Check. LOOTZ!? double check. For a sandbox exploration rpg, this truly feels like the days of expansion packs again and was the gem that shined above the 3 other DLCs for FO3. I honestly wish I could say more, but being a sandbox game, the fun is what you make of it. So the its very much in the eye of the beholder here.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Dissappearance

Price - $9.99*
Overall - Good
Availability- PS3/360/PC
*(comes pack in free for PC)

Following the Animus events of ACB by two whole years in his respective story. This DLC puts you once again in the shoes of Ezio Auditore Da Firenze in the year 1506. Kidnapped by a group calling themselves the "Enlightened Ones" Leonardo Da Vinci has gone missing. It is up to Ezio to find where he has been taken and rescue him.

The Content of the DLC has good in some places, and lacking in others. It was rather "video game cliche" to have most of the content be fetch quests in the way of  "There are clues to where he might be hidden in 5 paintings he did, find these 5 artifacts paintings", but on the upside the actual quests to retrieve them are fairly entertaining and expose you to a lot of old friends from Ezio's life. The final segment in the DLC, The Temple of the Pythagoreans, was the best part in my opinion. The architecture and designs were beautiful.

My main complaints with this DLC are symbiotic. Universal to ACB, the difficulty is well stupidly easy. even for 100% sync on these missions you really wont break a sweat. Because of its ease it winds up being terribly short, 1 hour to clear maybe 2 hours to 100%. It also "extends" the global story of Desmond past the ending of ACB a bit, but in a cocktease, not really answering anything fashion. In all its not bad, and if you have $10 that you really don't want to keep a hold of for whatever reason, there are worse places to put it.

Borderlands - The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

Price - $9.99*
Overall - Exceptional
Availability- PS3/360/PC
*(also pack in with Borderlands Game of the Year Edition)

Taking place after the events of the main game. The Atlas corporation, not hearing what had happened with the Vault was in the best interests of all, and just generally for being dicks with sticks up their asses. send another crew to the dusty world of Pandora to secure full order of the planet and to bring the players in, dead or alive. The Atlas Corp., much like Fallout's Enclave, has the interests of the common man least dear to their heart yet sugar coat everything that they are fighting the good fight. One of their personal Assassins, Athena, has grown tired of their Bullshit and recruits the players in an effort to liberate Pandora from the hand of Atlas, forever. In return she promises you a share of their armory's loot considering it more than enough payment.

I had had a lot of fun in this DLC, it was by far my favorite of the 4 for this game (however do check out Claptrap's New Revolution and Island of Dr. Ned. as they are good too) my only two complaints was there's a lot of driving from place to place but that is negligible if you play multi player as it becomes fun there. The other complaint being that you can only loot the armory a total of 3 times legitimately, after that is beyond your reach, but if that's not to your taste there are glitches that can bypass this.

Other than that this addon was solid. The dark humor of Pandora bubbles up in General Knoxx, a character I found very enjoyable (fighting him not so much, I had shitty guns at the time) which brings me to another point. this game raises the level cap to 61 (71 with the free level patch from New Revolution) and while can be played straight from a new game, is not intended till post game, as it is hard. This also was the only addon that provided something I used to love from ps1 era games, an optional hard as hell boss. (your mileage may vary, it was mostly "hard" for me cause it requires teamwork and every partner I got lagged to hell and back). In all I highly recommend this one if enjoyed borderlands at all.

Bioshock - Comic Book Challenges

Price - $5.99
Overall - Good
Availability- PS3

Last but not least for this article I'd like to give an honorable mention to this DLC, for cashing in on something I wished the original Bioshock had done more of (and Bioshock 2 failed to try either) What it did is explore the puzzle aspects of the plasmids a lot more, throwing you in scenarios that force you to think more whereas the base game was a lot more action oriented.

There are 3 Scenarios:

Chamber Of Thrills - you must use your powers cleaverly and slay a big daddy without weapons.
Wheel of Terror - The little sister is trapped atop the half broken Fairish Wheel, how will you get her down?
Worlds of hurt - Chamber after chamber. progress how you choose. can you reach the end?

The former two are well thought out. the last one ends up an action fest and ends up no thinking unless you try the "wrench + plasmids only" run, then its hard. the downside really to this DLC is it leaves you wishing for more. Even with the time challenges and rose hunts these are not very long. I would have loved the whole game been like this.

That brings this chapter to a close. I'll update again when I have more content. take care.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Improving On Fail of the Year

Just when we thought the shitstorm over Bioware's failure of a game called Dragon Age 2 was over... It just keeps getting better and better. Due to the obvious lack of quality in any way, shape or form of the game... Bioware resorted to what every major dev/publisher house would do to try and sell a piece of shit. They went and paid off every major critic site they could think of and boughtbribed, blew or otherwise paid for favorable reviews from most major critic sites out there.

However this wasn't enough to save the game from being called out by fans as the unfinished, rushed piece of garbage that it is.

So they did something called astroturfing, also known as grassroots activities. They had their staff go onto Metacritic and post deliberate inflated reviews with overly positive scores for the purpose of bumping the user score which was languishing in it's well-deserved spot of 3.0 or lower. Quite a common practice sadly, and everyone knows that any major McConsumerist Triple A Bollywood title will have a certain amount of bullshit/fake/paid off reviewing to inflate it's scores just so it will sell to the general McIdiot that actually thinks FauxFox News is gospel truth.

A day in the life of any profit driven greedy major dev backed by one of the Big Three Evils(tm) killing gaming today, nothing new. Nothing new at least, until you get caught redhanded in the act.

How did this come about? A discerning user browsing Metacritic decided it was quite odd that from a 3.0 user review average a few days ago, now suddenly the score has raised to an average of 4.0 due to a number of glowing 10/10 reviews from users that, oddly, only have the 3 platform versions of DA2 as their review. So our anonymous user decides to dox one of the reviewers... and well, the result is summed up in the image below. Click on the image to see the full thing, or simply click here.

 Either way, this is fail going from bad to worse. Not only are they banning people from games they paid for, something which, once it hit mainstream media, Bioware immediately went into damage control and called it a glitch. Now they can add astroturfing/grassroots activities to their list of fails, which, mind you, also conveniently includes lying about their DRM that is used in the game. I could also get started about their nonexistent TOTALLY AWESUMS level of customer service where customers with legitimate concerns are fobbed off and their threads locked by Nazi moderators all to happy to enforce the tiniest fine print in the T&C as a way to avoid answering difficult questions they are clearly unable to answer. I must point a finger at the Leader of the Fourth Reich moderator Stanley Woo for his shining examples of how if, you were sexually abused as a child and have no self-esteem, to make oneself feel better by becoming an Internets Forum Moderator(tm).

All in all, everything that Bioware can possibly have done wrong, has been done. Many have known for years that reviews were the result of back room bribery, but it's nice to have it shown at such an obvious level that a large dev/publisher is not above going far far over the line in the name of greed and profit. While it is a sad thing to happen to one of the formerly most loved RPG dev studios, I guess it was just a matter of time.

Congratulations Bioware once again, achievement unlocked.