The Gaming Rant 4
This is an unedited, uncensored re-print of an article originally posted on another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.
WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.
My goodness, I never realised the word satire was so complex and multi-faceted. And I’m sure if you’re, ehm, “special”, then it is.
Your sense of humour has been conditioned into you over time, which unfortunately means you can’t be cured if you find this kind of trolling with mild undertones of truth hard to stomach. I could’ve swore I wasn’t holding you at gunpoint forcing you to read my childish banter over the last month, but then my memory is not what it used to be. Besides, if you do have an under-developed sense of humour, how did you get out of Germany in the first place?
For everyone who’s left, you should be working and so should I, but it’s Friday and you deserve a break, so I’m going to spend a few hours putting together something topical that I hope amuses you. It will be brutal, unfair, patronizing to everyone involved, sarcastic, immature toilet humour that has no place on any respectable gaming site. Enter TSA to come to the rescue. Damn, that was controversial. Such betrayal after all the Russian brides they sent me, I should be ashamed of myself. (Note: if TSA wasn’t respectable, I wouldn’t write for it – just checking you got the satire. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? Oh, right, Edge. Yeah, forgot about them)
*hands out a cache of guns to the TSA staff* Point these at the little rat bastards for the next five minutes – thanks.
Final Fantasy XIII: The Voice of Rationality vs My Best Friend
Friendly fire has been brewing. My best friend is a long-time Final Fantasy fan and complained that it got low review scores, then pointed the finger directly at me for being one of the ones responsible (I wasn’t) and asked what my problem is with it.
I told him all the reasons I could think of that reviewers may have marked it down: linearity, non-replayability, shift away from towns and friendly NPCs, no Japanese audio, slightly dodgy animations of Vanille and iffy camera panning, plus a lot of other things – all of which I noted were not problems I personally had except for the minor camera issue.
But here’s the real crux of the problem I have with Final Fantasy XIII: Snow. He’s such a petulant little pain in the ass, every time it’s a cut scene with him it’s like “OMG Poor SAAAAAAAAARAHHHHH!!!111oneoneone!!! BBQ!!”. Snow, she’s gonna turn to crystal, and I don’t think your crummy little knife is gonna magically fix that. Let it go buddy. What are you doing proposing to a 12-year old anyway? That kind of conduct is exclusively my domain. And have you seen the sand when he runs across it at the start of chapter 6? He doesn’t leave any footprints at all. Then when his spaceship crashes he gets up immediately and there’s not a scratch on him. What does he think he’s Jesus or something?
Do you know what I do with Snow? Walk all over it. Listen to it as it crunches into the ground. Break it into pieces and throw it at the nearest car. That’s all Snow is good for.
My friend’s real beef though was when I may have inadvertently used the words “RPG” and “niche market” in the same sentence. Now I know that is an argument with both truths and falsehoods, but as he started throwing review scores and sales statistics at me I knew I couldn’t admit I was wrong even if I was, so a game of statistical musical chairs ensued. This went on for almost two days. Finally he epic failed by pointing out that Final Fantasy and Tetris were the two best-selling games on the PSP last month; that really backfired on him because I bought Tetris for PSP last month, proving beyond doubt I was right.
Nintendo DS is not useless after all
Same friend again:
(04:58:48 PM) ******: hmm
(04:58:52 PM) ******: I might need to get a DS
(04:58:57 PM) Katy:
(04:59:04 PM) Katy: *cracks your head open on the desk*
(04:59:05 PM) Katy: grow up
(04:59:08 PM) ******: Chrono Trigger was released on it last year
Damn, this guy knows too much.
This.. err… week’s… SingStore Update
You’d think after the extensive limb dismemberment I gave them on these very pages about that piss poor non-English update from a few weeks back that they would’ve learned their lesson, right? Wrong. SingStar Team never learn. History has shown this repeatedly. You can think of SingStar Team like monkeys trying to write Shakespeare: they’ll get it right eventually, but only by random chance since they don’t have the capacity to learn from their mistakes, and OnLive will be rolled out in Cyberia by the time they figure it out.
The “March 25th 2010” update as it is now known in historical terminology has not yet surfaced. It’s 30th March at the time of writing. Have you ever heard of a Rock Band, Guitar Hero or Lips update being a day late, let alone six with no word from the team?
So I figured they deserve some additional public humiliation as if they haven’t already got enough on their Facebook group, to spur them along in firing some people. And I am being a bit serious here because this is actually pathetic. I did some research. Here is what happened with SingStore updates in the last 12 months (I’ve left out the on-time ones to save space):
25th March – no release date announced yet as of 31st March
11th March – on time but update consisted almost exclusively of non-English songs
25th February – delayed til 20:00
31st December – decided not to bother releasing an update this week at all
10th December – decided not to bother releasing an update this week and deferred it by 1 week
12th November – on time but some songs were locked and unpurchasable til the next day
15th October – delayed for 1 day
17th September – delayed for 1 day
3rd September – delayed til 17:30
20th August – delayed for 1 day
6th August – delayed for 2 days in the US, released 1730 in the UK
23rd April – decided not to bother releasing an update this week and deferred it by 1 week
9th April – delayed for 5 days (released on 14th April)
26th March – on time but some songs were locked and unpurchasable until the late evening
So, 16 out of 29 updates passed without a hitch. Of course, there should have been 31 updates. I also noted that for both the case of patches and broken songs or updates, at no point in that time period did SingStar Team ever work on a Saturday or Sunday to fix it. Whatever happened to dedication? You know what me and nofi do when our web sites get screwed up? We bloody well sit down and fix it as soon as possible to keep our users happy – and we’re not even making any money.
I know some idiot future employer of mine is sitting in London Studio reading this now going: “God I hate Katy she’s such an arrogant bitch always whining about SingStar.” Yes, I am. Why? Because I love the game and whine on behalf of the people – your customers – for better service. How often have you seen me slag off Rock Band? Pretty much never. Why? Cos they do their friggin jobs properly.
Another smug idiot over there is also reading this going: “Well if you think you’re so good, let’s see if you can do a better job yourself”. Yes, well, let’s see shall we – because I’m pretty bloody sure I can do a better job, actually. The first thing I’ll be doing is a performance review of all the team members, re-evaluating their skill sets and firing the ones who aren’t up to the task. Something you should be doing instead of reading this.
The Tester: Episode 5
This week the contestants played Buzz. Except they didn’t. It was, in fact, a completely unrelated quiz show with the Buzz brand slapped across it, creating a link so tenuous that the only thing I can conjure up that’s more dodgy is putting people in plastic bubbles and calling it a test of communication ability. I’ll spare you the details. Pre-game interview extract:
Doc: “I know a lot about PlayStation. This is going to be totally one-sided, it’s time to dominate.”
Meredith: “On the PlayStation controller, what colour is the triangle button?”
You think I’m joking. I’m not joking. If you think I rage on here, well, I suggest you become a fly on the wall of my living room for the remaining episodes, because despite Peter letting me get away with the occasional F-word, what I shouted at that moment cannot be reproduced in print. Word would flag me as a terrorist and send a report to Microsoft.
Meredith: “Who is the father of PlayStation?”
Me: “KEN KUTURAGI!!!! KEN KUTURAGI KEN KUTURAGI!! ANSWER DAMMIT IT’S KEN KUTURAGI!”
Silence falls across the studio. Brent Gocke – the global Release Manager whose job title has been announced in every episode and which Star forgot when she was asked at elimination – isn’t looking too impressed. I feel your pain, Brent. I can see now you’ve been put in an impossible situation: someone in marketing thought this would be good PR, and you were the unlucky bastard who drew the short straw and had to sit through this. And I can see why, I mean, you’re a release manager, and as we all know there’s hardly been any games released lately so you probably have a lot of spare time.
Here is a little tip for anyone going for a job interview: know your target audience. Going to apply for a job at Activision? Check their corporate web site first. Find out what franchises they own (Rock Band, Gears of War) and who their key executives like the CEO are (I’ll save you the trouble, it’s Bill Gates) so you at least sound like you know something.
You may be thinking I’m being unduly harsh given the pressure they were under in that room full of ten people, of whom 6 were contestants. You’d be wrong. I was the only female contestant in the Buzz Brain of The UK championships in London last summer, which was conducted in front of a live audience with plenty of execs, events organizers and magazine journalists hovering around. I finished 5th out of 28 – stupid Tour de France questions. But I’m pretty freaking sure if they had asked me what colour triangle was, I would’ve got it right. The point is, I didn’t crack under pressure when there was a ton of lights, people watching me and a £20,000-value prize at stake – and the gaming industry is a pressure cooker. If you crack under less pressure than that, I don’t want you testing my games. It’s that simple.
Thank God Big D got eliminated and not Star. Are you reading this Star? Are you into girls? Can I give you my phone number? I’ll even let you beat me at Guitar Hero.
I can’t play my drums after midnight
Which is a problem when you only get up at 7pm. Plus I have to get ready, so immediately it’s 9pm before I can do anything, by which time I’ve been powered only by coffee and cigarettes for 2 hours and need to make dinner – which leads to watching TV, then it’s 10pm. When I say dinner I mean microwave food, obviously.
Technically I could play them whenever, but I have a downstairs neighbour who is very good when I need help so I try to be a bit considerate. So on that note, why does the green drum-pad make a thud three times louder than all the others? Anyone else got that issue? And who thought making them out of rubber was a good idea? Rubber – possibly one of the least force-deflecting materials under compression known to mankind. There are a few exceptions of course – Jane Goody’s brain for example (that’s so non-deflective if you hit it with a drumstick it would land on Mars) – but I want my drumpads to go bang, not ba-ba-thu-thud every time I hit them.
And oh my God the drum pedal. Someone please tell me how to keep it in one place on the floor! Doesn’t matter how I sit or use it, the bloody thing always ends up sneaking away slowly like a summer’s day ice-cream you’ve given strict orders not to melt. Then you’re playing the song and the bloody bar under the pads is chaffing into your shin as you stretch your legs out like the girls in Split Tail Lovers (thanks to reader Amphlett for the movie tip) desperately waiting for a quiet bit in the song so you can drag the pedal back to its proper position again with your big toe. Indeed, the drum pedal is more slippery than an eel covered in Astroglide (thanks again to Amphlett for the info – no wonder you use Astroglide hun, I didn’t even know you could do that with a live eel).
As for the pad material, there is in fact only one choice worse than rubber: air. Which makes Guitar Hero on drums the perfect way to show off the power of Natal. Think about it: they’ll make no noise to annoy the neighbours and you can have as many drums and cymbals as you want. Just imagine how much more accurate you’re gonna be and how much less strain there’s going to be on your wrists once Bob goes Natal. Although, I guess it’s his wife going natal we should be more worried about.
We’re all familiar with it. “OMG they’re gonna start charging for PSN, send this message to 1000 people in protest, Sony are watching and if the message is sent over 1 million times they will change their plans.”
Riiiight. That sounds like a surefire business model doesn’t it? And people actually believe this. Of course, you should use the following canned response:
“Yes, yes that’s right. Sony are going to start charging for PSN. In fact your first payment is now due and should be made to <Sender’s Name>, <Sender’s Bank Account Number> within 7 days or your account may be suspended until payment is received. Also, please send this to 1,000 of your friends in case they haven’t received the email.”
But, this week I thought I’d share with you a nice gem I got in my PSN inbox today that lightened up the spam parade a little. It reads as follows:
“message this to 10,000,000 and you will get a free lolli pop dats right 1 whole chubba chub baby omg its insane right and dats all u have to do….this is been tracked by a panda in hong kong so get sendin”.
OtherOS removed in new firmware update
This one got me pretty angerz. Let’s clear the obvious issues first. I can no longer pirate PS3 games, and let’s face it, every single user of OtherOS is nothing more than a seedy pirate. Why pay £40 for a shiny game when you could download a 30GB torrent, decrypt it, buy some blank bluray and a bluray writer, burn it, install an OtherOS, mod chip your PS3, then buy some bluray movie cases, print out the cover and a CD label, get one of those little things that sticks the labels onto the disks, then download the game manual and print it on dirt cheap gloss paper? No reason at all – pirating is obviously a lot more convenient, and that means better for the consumer.
Another big problem is that I can no longer run an extremely slow and feature-deficient Linux desktop on a machine with limited memory and arbitrarily-limited processor and disk space availability. Why on Earth would I want to surf the web and do my email on a perfectly good PC when I can jump through a million hoops to do it on my PS3 instead? This is a major restriction of consumer choice, again. It is bad enough that the PS3 browser won’t run Silverlight scripts or play Windows Media streams, let alone taking away the option of spending 15 minutes waiting for Linux to boot and Firefox to start as well. Bad form, Sony *tuts*
PSN store updates moving to Wednesdays
Why? It has plagued me for ages that the 360 always gets Rock Band DLC and such two days before PS3. So what stroke of genius do they come up with? Reduce it to one day. What is this 1992? Sure it gets the job done, but come on! Business tip for the uninitiated: releasing content later on your platform than a competitor’s platform = less sales on your platform. Even Steve Jobs knows that, and what did he ever do right?
PS3 was lead platform for Sega & Sonic All-Stars Racing
Oh reaallly… so why is the framerate so shit then? I saw some PR spin about it having to do with reflections and lighting effects. Yeah. Gran Turismo does 1080p in 60fps constantly – the fanbois told me so it must be true – and yet, a Sega game once again suffers framerate problems on PS3 despite the fact the cars in All Stars Racing only have 2-3 times the number of polygons as the ones in GT5. Did you know each car in All Stars Racing took 3 months to model, but there are only 8 so it sort of balanced out?
I blame these problems on the simple fact that the game was released on its original scheduled release date. If they had waited, say, 2 years, and spent the time making trailers and watching NASCAR, these problems would have all solved themselves automatically. And why doesn’t it have head tracking and 3D? That completely ruined the gameplay experience for me. Sega, take a lesson from Polyphony Digital: never release a driving game until it’s perfect. My friend and I only had heaps of fun with it when it could have easily been mountains of fun instead, and that shoddy TSA review score of 8/10 was a direct result of your promptness and lack of attention to detail.
Gran Turismo 5
Speaking of which, Gran Turismo 5 is rubbish. Or brilliant. Whichever will make you leave angry comments so I can taunt you more accurately next week. You shouldn’t have skipped the first two paragraphs of this article, tut tut.
No, seriously it’s gonna be brilliant. Hah, April Fool’s! It’s gonna suck.
I wish you all a very pleasant Easter break!