Review – Flower

If you haven’t noticed…and you probably haven’t, I have not written much lately. Truth be told, there hasn’t been a lot in gaming that has inspired me in the past couple of weeks. That is, until tonight. Flower has been on the Playstation Store now for roughly six or seven hours and in that time, I can safely say this game has answered the video games as art argument with a resounding, YES!

This review is not going to be very long because the game is not very long and it is hard to do justice to it without letting you just play it and experience it for yourself. The premise is simple, tilt the controller and press any button to make the wind blow. That is it. Of course there is more to it, but really how much can I say about a series of flower petals blowing in the wind? →  Oops, I did it again.

Rearmed and Ready – Are you?

Bionic Commando: Rearmed is now out in all intended formats. If you have one of these formats, and you love the challenge and the feel of classic 2d games, I hope you have it already. If you don’t, might I suggest you give it a download? Until Mega Man 9 hopefully rocks our socks, this is the best thing to come around this year for retro enthusiasts, except for maybe Space Invaders Extreme or Bangai-O Spirits. I don’t want to go too far into discussion (save that for the review!), but suffice it to say that this is a remake that gets it. It feels right, both old and new, careful and bold. Its the kind of game where just seeing it in action makes me happy.

In any case, it is still too early to say how well it has sold, but something tells me that neither I nor Capcom is going to like it. →  Lame is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Big Tuesday Blog Post

Initially this post was going to be about one topic, but several other things have come up that warrant discussion. Let us begin!

– Yahoo! Music is closing its doors. You probably never used Yahoo music, but it was big enough to warrant some sponsorships with Pepsi in the past, and worked as both an iTunes style store and a Rhapsody style subscription service. Strangely enough, the remains of the service will be merged with Rhapsody.

Meanwhile the DRM keys used to play music purchased from Yahoo will be going away, forcing Yahoo to give refunds – though the details are flaky as hell for subscribers.

The lesson here? These same dangers are a threat to gaming. Digital downloads are getting more and more popular, and for good reason. They are convenient, more reliable (no moving parts), and can potentially be cheaper. →  Ask not for whom the game plays, it plays for thee.

That was quick – Firmware 2.4

The much awaited 2.4 update to the PS3 is out, and with it comes nearly all of the remaining features that are already available on the Xbox 360. In game XMB, Trophies, and partial custom soundtracks are all here now, making the PS3 that much more of a complete package.

Many have considered this a major trump card for Sony, claiming that they now offer everything that Microsoft does at no cost to the consumer. This is true only to an extent: features like achievements, custom soundtracks and an in-game system menu are offered to all 360 users. Nothing in 2.4 is reserved to Xbox Live Gold members, and so this is really Sony catching up with some of Microsoft’s basic features.

I recently chalked this up to the fact that Microsoft has spent so much time and money on Live, but if you think about it, most of Live’s features have been a part of PSN for a while now. →  The only thing we have to read is read itself.