It finally happened.  After almost three years of excessive abuse and fairly steady play, my PSP-1000 has reached the point of no return.  It still runs, but not well, and at this point I don’t think I’ll ever get it to read Memory Sticks.

Rather than try to fix the damn thing, I decided to replace it whole hog with a brand new 3000.  Normally I’d be the first to smack myself for such a sudden lack of fiscal prudence, but when I have 20 games for a console, with more coming, I tend to lose the urge to shop around (at least at a certain price point).

Anyway, I’m enjoying the new 3000 quite a bit.  I can see the screen problems that gamers have reported whenever it plays a 2d game, but I haven’t played enough of them  to determine whether this will be a true detriment.  →  Show me the reading!

Review – Flower, Sun and Rain

My first thought when I began playing Grasshopper Manufacture’s “Flower, Sun and Rain” was that it reminded me a bit of Killer 7. This isn’t any sort of surprise, considering Grasshopper (and it’s rebellious leader Suda51) was behind both games. It was, however, an informative revelation; Killer 7 is often praised for it’s unique audio and visual design, but as it turns out, these concepts were already being played with in FSR. The game features a well dressed protagonist, a mysterious briefcases, and character voices that sound like garbled computer voices. You could even argue that the the primitive visuals are an attempt at basic cell shading.

Flower, Sun and Rain, then, is indicative of our awkwardly evolving awareness of Japanese entertainment. These days, Western audiences still don’t get every game, anime or album that comes out of Japan, but at the very least, people will know of their existence. →  Ask not for whom the game plays, it plays for thee.

A Lazy E3 Summary

This E3 was, in some ways, a reversal of what most gamers expected. Typically, we see everyone clamor over whether Sony or Microsoft came out on top, while we all wonder how Nintendo continues to bumble their way to success. This time around Nintendo schooled everyone, while both MS and Sony looked lost in their own ways. At least, that’s the general consensus that I have seen. From my perspective, Nintendo certainly did better, but I can’t say that anyone has lit my fire.

Breaking them down in order, Microsoft continued to slowly ape every successful feature on the Wii, while trying to find some angle with which to convince everyone that they have made it as good or better. The Kinect motion device is still in the same position as it was when it was called Project Natal: great potential that still hasn’t passed muster outside of a controlled environment. →  Get lame or get out.

Quick Take – Devil May Cry 4

Recently I finished playing Devil May Cry 4. Well, not finished finished, but I got through the final boss’ first form before giving up on the bullshit that happens immediately afterward. This game got quite a lukewarm reception when it first came out, and I wanted to see whether these critics were full of shit. As it turns out, they kind of were, in the sense that the game does more than it was given credit for. At the same time, it screws up in enough important ways that the level of quality attributed to it is about right. So I guess that makes it a wash, but there are still some ideas I’d like to discuss.

My first observation while playing DMC4 is that the new character, Nero, is not simply a change made for the sake of it. →  Read, you fools!

The Epicest Clash Ever

Scholars have argued for hundreds of years over which belief system is the best and the jury is still out on the definitive answer. Is it the system with the most money? The system with the most followers? The system that fits in with current knowledge of how the universe works or is it the belief system that advocates fiddling blind kids and Africa dying from the AIDS? Sure, we’ve had global conflicts over some of these issues and even then the winner couldn’t be definitively decided. Now, however, through the invention of the Nintendo Wii, we can create the greatest match up of all time ever and finally see who is the best*.

Introducing the competitors:

Yes ladies and gentlemen here they are, four of the most influential people of all time. →  Ratchet & Read

Making Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Truly Rule

There are a whopping two arcade machine series on Earth that I can beat consistently on one purchase, regardless of sequel number or difficulty setting: Soul Caliber and Marvel vs. Capcom.

The key to Soul Caliber, you see, is Maxi and his awesome ability to start spinning his nunchuks, never pausing for a break as he beats the sweet bejeebus out of any and all opponents. Just mash the buttons, bimbo. Why didn’t you think of that?

And Marvel vs. Capcom 2? Iron Man, War Machine and Cable will destroy any and all challengers from their cozy little far corner of the screen, sending a constant and unfair barrage of projectile after projectile at those who dare to cross them.

Am I excited about the announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom 3? →  Readalations: Persona