Archive for October, 2011

My Playstation Universe

About a year before the Playstation 3 launched, I began following a site devoted to Playstation news. I sought it initially after the Playstation 3 was announced so I would have a source of updated information on the upcoming console. At the time, I was going to college and working full time to pay for that college, and I intended fully to buy a Playstation 3 at launch for that whopping $600. Which I did, on top of my steep monthly college payments and doing delivery at a pizzeria.
Without a doubt, the efforts I made to obtain what I wanted were both founded and worth my while. I managed to buy my Playstation on launch day due to the very, very limited preorder opportunity offered through Gamestop; that offer was only open 45 minutes nationwide. I managed to fanagle my information with a good friend from Fargo, North Dakota in order to preorder. I paid in full up front, so I was guaranteed my console, even through the quantity slash that Sony had a week before launch. The only down side was that I had to drive 300 miles to get it.
Since November 17th, 2005, I have been granting my bandwidth to Playstation Universe, because they have always had unsegregated information regarding Playstation.
I had wanted to be part of the site for most of my time involved with my Playstation 3. I took it very personally, both my Playstation and Playstation Universe. I invested in a product that was financially dangerous, considering the new technology involved and the incredibly high price tag. I believed in it; Kojima and his creations can also be to blame for it as well. I gained my information on the console through Playstation Universe, and the affinity for favoritism took over and I have never been interested in openly and regularly following other sites.
Over the past few years, I had tried to communicate with PSU staff, to see if I could do some review work, since analyzing games had become something of an interest. I never received responses. Essentially, I was a fan boy who wanted a chance, and chances are hard to give without credibility. Understandably, I gave up my endeavors and continued my college life and following the news portrayed through PSU.
After a failed time period in my life and a barrage of funerals,  I moved with my girlfriend to a college town to regain our bearings. We found jobs at a sub shop and reentered college for our bachelors degrees. The Playstation foundations that I had established came with me. I checked news every other day, at least, to keep up on game releases and console progress.
I met a friend through the Playstation Network named Mark. A great friend. I’ve never met him either, in person. I introduced him to the best that my life could share via internet: great times in multiplayer and my favored news outlet. In our down times, we competed for the highest trophy count and smack talked laggers and snipers in Killzone 3.
Life went on like this for another year or so between college, work, and gaming with Mark. A new venue opened for me in September, on the tail end of my full time reinstatement into college: journalism within the gaming industry.
PSU offered the public an opportunity to write features about Playstation and its contents and software through a program coined The PSU Writer’s Army. I thought for a day or so, pondering both ideas and personal availability of time. My limiting lifestyle almost hindered my decision to apply for the Writer’s Army.
Ultimately, a Twitter post by THE Hideo Kojima changed my outlook. He spoke of the determination of the people from West who were more determined than those from his culture, and that fewer students from Japan were seeking education into the gaming industry. He also spoke of one student in particular who he knew. The student would spend all of his free time,  literally, playing and studying video games because he loved them so much. When he was away from his development office, he would be playing Call of Duty while eating, or even without, so he could have more opportunities.
His conclusion was that anything worth the while is worth making time to devote to it. So, I took his advice whole heartedly and applied. I was immediately instated.
My first idea was a big one. The Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta had launched in May, and I had issues with its play. So, I wrote about how the transition between 2 and 3 wasn’t smooth, resulting in stiff controls and uncharacteristic mechanics that felt ingenuine to the caliber that Naughty Dog had proved in the past. I titled it The Dangers of Progress.
It was a hit. I was complimented by many on the staff, and many of the PSU site members agreed fully with my creative observation.
I pitched a few more ideas about the gaming industry in general, but they didn’t get published or finished at this point. Early August, I was contacted by PSU’s executive editor Adam Dolge, and he asked me if I would like to work for PSU as a freelance editor. I was shocked, enthused, zealous! I hadn’t thought about entering the journalism field, since I had already established my psychology major. After these experiences, however, the options are up for grabs.
I learned how to use the server system, write and post news, and even have had opportunities to write reviews. I was not prepared for my next opportunity in this fresh career with PSU.
On October 10th, Adam Dolge contacted me again while I was delivering for my sub shop job. He said, “I may have a game demoing for you in SF.” I’m from podunk southwest Minnesota, and SF has always meant Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I asked for clarification, and he said “San Francisco.” My podunk mind was taken aback. I had never been outside of the Midwest before this, and I was once again filled with polarities of opportunity and self-inflicted limitations. I asked for a day to think, and I contacted everyone I knew directly, including my friend, Mark. He said, “You’re doing it, right?” I immediately thought again of Kojima-san’s Twitter post. My life in this college town isn’t going anywhere. It never will.
I accepted his offer, and I worked with him and a representative named Karen through EA Games to line up the flights.
I started this year on the sidelines of the gaming industry. I now find myself positioned in the playing field as I’m in flight to San Francisco for an opportunity that few receive. Even if this doesn’t pan out, which would be against my wishes, I have lived my dream. I’ve also seen a new venue of opportunity that didn’t dawn on me until PSU took me under its wing.
Thanks aren’t enough for this. I can only do my damnedest for those who believed in my ability. I hope to represent Playstation Universe far better than I would of myself. I would not be anywhere right now, outside of a stagnant eduction, without these chances. This onus is mine, and I will cater to it until I’m no longer needed. Until then, my pen will be in benefit of Playstation Universe, the base that built a string of good decisions in my life.


Forewarning: If you haven’t finished Red Dead Redemption, please stop here. I don’t want such a great ending to be ruined. So much so in fact, I will only link to the spoilers and be as vague as possible here while still complaining up a storm.

Be warned. The link will be a spoiler of the worst kind, since the link goes to a page that’s bashing the ending. It’ll also be at the bottom of the page, so I can’t be DIRECTLY blamed for ruining the story. Now, all clarities aside, let’s start complaining.

I found an article on about how John Marston betrayed gamers. The title sounded blasphemous enough to read, so I did.
Indeed, it was blasphemous. He spoke of almost personal ties through the game, which is okay, since some people feel that fictional characters are real people (*DISCLAIMER*I’m complaining in hyperboles to make him look bad, not the site). Okay, that’s fine. I’m okay with it, since I’ve attached myself equally or more so to one great man Solid Snake from the greatest game series ever made.
Segue over; When the ending came around, which was the highlight of the game for me, he said that John Marston ditched him for what was happening (I will NOT reveal it. The ending is phenomenal). The purpose of that ending was to build a personal character on top of what was already established. The ending was what he had been striving to reach, and he had it. Why would the gamer want to take that away from his or her friend, or even favorite protagonist? It seems illogical.
Besides, the ending is meant to be a buildup to something obvious. I knew what was going to happen. Every scene after defeating his best friend pulled on my heart strongly. The ending was inevitable. When the ending happened… I was still surprised. Without words, John Marston proved his mettle to his ultimate goal. He is undeserving of such a statement like “he betrayed gamers.” He was honest, and his story was honest. He never looked through the screen and said, “Thanks for watching.” His story was great enough to not need something that ridiculous.
With this being the greatest story every told by Rockstar Games, and comparably better than many stories within the gaming industry, Red Dead Redemption does not deserve this kind of flack. It hasn’t received this kind of flack. Why does this happen? Might as well give Uncharted 3 a 7/10 for fun by saying that the game is linear, and everything within the game reflects that, even though the experience is far more engrossing than any other on any platform currently–Segue again.

Seriously, only read this if you have finished the game. Or, if you don’t have any way to play video games EVER. Which would be silly.

I was researching which Silent Hill games included Pyramid Head, and a forum of Silent Hill fans were bashing a lot of other fans for wanting him in more games.
I’m very new to the franchise, but he’s the reason I’m now entering it. He fascinates me in a way that’s far too subliminal to analyze, for fear that my subconscious will come out and want to do whatever Freud figured it would do.
He is a pinnacle in the Silent Hill franchise, and has been personally honored by those game directors that created him. He hit the industry hard with such a unique facade, and the likes can’t be matched without looking ingenuine.
On the other hand, watering him down and including him in every game would be ridiculous and dishonorable to the Silent Hill name. However, every major game should have him, since more people will see those games. For instance, I hope that Downpour has him in it. If so, I will buy that game and cry the whole time in fear and happiness. 
Or, Konami should create a game solely for him. A one-sided game where he goes out at night and owns everything in existence, then retreats when the light returns. I’d buy that.

To San Francisco

I’ll be heading to San Francisco this week to demo the new Need for Speed game, which is being funded fully by EA Games!
This is a pretty big deal, since I’ll be legitimately reporting on content hands-on in the field, and I’ll be flying for the first time.
I tried the demo for the game last night, and I was blown away by the vivid direction that the Need for Speed series has gone. In a race on a snowy mountainside, avalanches were constantly threatening to send me down the mountainside as I raced to also beat my contender. The race ended climatically when I reached the final tunnel and I had to drive through the beginnings of an avalanche threatening to cover the tunnel entryway.
I’ll be attempting a few of the latest installments before Wednesday, so I can become more versed in the overall progress; I haven’t played a Need for Speed game since Underground, so the progress presently looks phenomenal. I have hopes that the overall growth of the franchise has been gloriously uphill the whole way.

The failing appeal from the East within the gaming world has deteriorated the structural beams of the industry. Now that the structure of the industry is firmly upheld by the West, the East needs to reapply their expertise and exocentric styles back in with its former glory. They will have to engineer a new scheme to present the old ways and customs in an engrossing and provocative way. Timely enough, enter the Playstation Vita.
The Vita will require games with a portable appeal. Almost a ridiculous statement that was, but using a funnel such as that will be the best tool the East can use. Fully realizing that the medium requires a hastened delivery will instigate opportunities for the East to utilize their societal mentality to develop engrossing games with massive potential and features with minimal financial output. At least, it can be compared as such to the current cost of games this generation.
For instance, create a game that displays the backdrop, and make the backdrop the focal point, our even the main character, that interacts with the humanoid characters and give them and intertwining story together. A touch screen and six axis controls would be beyond substantial for an idea such as that. It would also maintain a substantial significance on the background and the overall overlay while developing characters and story that appeals to the West.
An opportunity like this is what the industry needs, and the East will be the one to benefit the most. What the West has to offer will peak with consoles, but the Vita can bridge new fans unfamiliar with the old Japanese ways to understand and appreciate what they hold significant. It will also show that melding the two influences will create a far greater industry structure that will overextend any medium to date.