— aleatory



MAG is a 128-aside first person shooter exclusive to PS3 out in Europe on the 29th of this month. And basically that’s all you need to know, along with a 7 day open beta available on PSN from Monday 4th. But before you rush to order PS3 slims/preorder the game humour me for a minute and hear it out. I am (puts on best fanboi expressive tones) super excited with this title. More so than MW2. MW2 was formulaic. MW2 ignored the failings of it’s predecessor. Meaning
MW2 has lost my interest.

128 a side? I’ll sign myself up for some of that right away sir.

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First of all – thanks Asda for selling it at 32 quid.

111009.jpgPlayed single player reg through til completion and while it was as polished as you’d expect from the Modern Warfare franchise it failed to eclipse the heart-pounding immersive nervousness of the original’s ghillie-suit level. Also the kablamo’ed White House scenario seemed to be lifted straight from COD5’s Reichstag finale. Ditto with the staggered progression as seen from the eyes of US Army Rangers and their SF counterparts. Personally I find that sort of storytelling disjointed and a distraction.

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Zynga Twitter integration: Why on Earth?This post started off as a comparison of two of the most prominent methods of indy game distribution on the web today – app stores & social networks – but has morphed into something of a warning shot to platforms who allow their open networks to be ridden roughshot over by games ruthlessly seeking distribution above all else.

I had hoped to discuss some numbers taking both leading Facebook & App Store games as a jumping off point. But one look at my Twitter homepage this morning aroused some angst.

To their credit the realtime stream networks have opened up their far-reaching update networks to 3rd party developers without holding much back. Photos on facebook and throttling search on twitter are by and large minor holdups which would presumably have grave performance issues to overcome first anyway.

But this power in the hands of developers doesn’t come without responsibilities.

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Just finished release 1 of a nice and simple Facebook app that allows you to show off your Playstation Portable ID to your network. It shows among other things your last played online game and your trophy list including a breakdown across platinum, gold, silver & bronze.

Here is mine as an example

This gucci Portable ID that displays trophy count is only available from Playstation’s EU community site and so this is why Gamer Tag instructs the user to register there. The process is quite labourious but to help there is a great step-by-step guide at iTrophies.

As my first Facebook app I was surprised at the incomplete nature of documentation available, especially on the official dev site itself. Although concepts became less hazy by the time I fleshed out the full application life cycle it took a while for the building blocks to fall into place. The multi-dimensional nature of developing for the Facebook platform – i.e. working across 3 domains each with their own specific script or markup language – made for a trial and error development experience.

There are a lot of different paths into a facebook app and thus the challenge comes in creating a bullet-proof application that will withstand the many methods users will find to get to my little app. Storyboarding the various steps in signing up users helps immensely and can be safely broking down into a number of discrete steps.

This is definitely something that merits further discussion so look out for a tutorial somewhere in the not-too-distant future.

You can try it out for yourself here.

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I have a PS3.  It’s cool.  A Blu-Ray player for when I finally get a Blu-Ray disc for my pathetic dvd collection.  A music library that can pump sounds through my plasma’s impressive speakers.  And best of all a slick collection of best of breed gaming titles.  And yes, at first glance my small collection of hand-picked gems includes imho some of the best moments of 7th generation gaming.  Between COD4, FarCry2, Battlefield:BadCompany & WipEoutHD I get all that I need from my little slice of domestic arcadia pie.But I have had massive problems with all but one.

  • COD4 has spent a large percentage of it’s lifetime in the “Downloading game settings” state.
  • Battlefield:BadCompany refuses to allow me to invite or join would-be squad members
  • WipEoutHD’s brittle save files corrupt themselves if stared at too long

 Some days it really is a pain.  That these kinds of amateurish problems still present themselves is a sure sign that for all the talk, the industry has not yet matured to the quality or stature of other entertainment business.

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Far Cry 2.  Never played the first, but mercenary activities in the African savanna?  TIA Danny, TIA.  Does no harm to run the Black Hawk Down soundtrack over the demo either 😀

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Following the post on ridiculous Amstrad cartridge prices being fetched on Ebay, a bandwagonjumper has tried to cash in by selling off an obviously illegit copy of Street Fighter II for 40 quid. Wouldn’t mind but for some reason it won’t run on the console, just the home computers – think that might be something to do with the type of EPROM chip used to house the game logic. Maybe.

The black market in GX4000 is not new, supposedly beginning in Poland where games that never made an official release to cart eventually found their way onto the platform by unofficial means.  But hopefully all this will stir up the availability of a few more (legit) Pang carts in the coming weeks…

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Something’s very wrong when a game almost 20 years old goes for the above on ebay.co.uk – where did all the collectors come from all of a sudden? And why did this renaissance have to coincide with me buying the failed console with a view to playing Pang on it? (Pang also went for a not so ridiculous £70 but still well out of the budget I’m prepared to pay for such retro goodness)

I’ve started a thread over on cpczone’s forum about it, although I’m sure they’ll be as bewildered at the build up in action as I am.

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Bub and Bob mosaics pop up now and again in cities around the world. Enemies aren’t left out either.

Survival is an ongoing issue.

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C U on the Battlefield – the phrase my old Battlefield clan uttered to wish eachother well. Those were the days – US versus Irakies in war-torn Berlin on DC_Final. A classic period of online PC games playing.

Things have changed since then though – I’ve taken to consoles for my online shooters, specifically COD4 on the PS3. BF has a history on the Sony platform, BF2: Modern Combat released on the PS2, but it was an abysmal conversion of the popular PC title. The coming of Battlefield: Bad Company to the PS3 in Europe yesterday has something to prove then. I’ll be getting it and I’ve already played the demo. In short, the single-player sucks but the online play is very reminiscent of the original BF1942 on the PC all those years ago. Gazala comes to mind, damn I can still hear the DC_Final mod theme tune blaring out it’s Arab rhythms. Ok so the latest effort mightn’t be a COD4 beater, but it takes me back to my own Golden Age of gaming, so it’s a worthy addition.

What I dislike intensely is this arse-sucking review from GameSpy.

Granted I don’t click through their daily email to the site everyday, but I hope this fluffy review isn’t typical of ‘independent’ thought on gaming today. The author practically apologises for Dice on graphics (admittedly the BF series was never at the forefront of shooter FX) and drones on and on about the single player plot. You’d think it was some kind of movie. And this in a series famed for one thing only – it’s online experience, where massive maps ensure the fight turns into a series of running private pitched battles, each one having an effect on the overall outcome of epic encounters.

Sigh – maybe it was just all a lot better when I was young…

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