Tag Archive: gaming


Hello to all. I know I’ve been away for a very long time.

Today I write to talk about an amazing kickstarter project. Larian Studios has an accomplished history a gaming studio. They didn’t need Kickstarter to make the second instalment of Divinity: Original Sin (D:OS), but they did it because they wanted to hear from the community, the gamers. This, for me, is the way to go. Develop the game that people want to play, by talking with them.

The project is in it’s last 24 hours and with “only” 170K to go to reach the last stretch goal I’ve decided to give them the help I can.

So here’s the link for the Kickstarter Project Page Divinity: Original Sin 2, check it out and if you think it deserves it, pledge it.

Cheers

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The blog of Sony Europe made a challenge for the users to elect their top 5 games of the Instant Game Collection (IGC) for 2013. And they’ll also offer 5 yearly subscriptions among the comments. You can find the post and comments here.

I wrote a text about it and the blog told me that my comment was to big so I had to shorten it a lot. Because I didn’t want to lose it, so I’ll post it here.

I hope you enjoy and give me your opinions about my choices.

Hi there everyone. Despite some of my (more than fair) complains about the service, I do love it. So here goes my top 5 games of ps+ for 2013, actually it’s 10 games, 5 for each console.

My top 5 is based on 3 things:

1. How much I enjoyed the game

2. How well the game adapts to the console in question (controls, graphics, and if the game uses the full capabilities of the console – mainly in the ps vita category)

3. How well the game looks

I’m a huge fan of RPG (prepare for a landslide of them) and I’m completely unable to play fps on a console because I’m left-handed For my brain it doesn’t makes sense to use the right analog for camera and the left one for movement, my brain thinks in mirror mode. On a pc, where I’m really good (no bragging here) at FPS, I use the mouse on my left hand and the keyboard with my right hand, this is the only reason why I won’t be putting many fps in the list.

 

In the PS3 Category we have

(like all good top 5, I’ll start by the bottom :p )

In 5th place I give you Infamous 2. Why is an FPS here you could ask right after what I wrote above. One single word: Move. I only play Infamous with move. I loved the game, the story and the graphics. In my book, it’s a very worth 5th place.

4th Need for Speed: Most Wanted. I’ve been an unconditional fan of Need for Speed games since Need for speed 2, played all of them on the psp and I love it on the ps3. Thanks for this one.

3rd Kingdoms of Amalur – Reckoning. I’ve been a huge fan of R. A. Salvatore for years now. When I heard that he had participated on the lore of this game I was on my nerves to get it, but my pc can’t support it, so didn’t bought and them SCEE gives it on ps+. Awesome. About the game: compelling story, great graphics and excellent game play, what more one ask.

2nd Assassins Creed 3. It’s free-run, it’s parkour, it the American Revolution a guy with a personality to match! I love this game. The graphics, the Story, the game play and the hours of fun I had with it.

1st Lord of the Rings – War in the North. I’m a complete geek when it comes to “Lord of the Rings”. I was planning to buy this game when Cris announce it for ps+. This game gives you the opportunity to play the story parallel to the events of the books (and the movies) from the instant before Frodo arrives to Bree, to the destruction of the One Ring in Mount Doom. If you ever wanted to know what else was going on in Middle Earth during those months, than this game is for you.

 

And now for the PS Vita

 

5th – Uncharted Golden Abyss. This game is here for one simple reason. It uses the ps vita capabilities to it full extend. Every single game on the ps vita should be developed with the same hard work this one had.

4th – Oddworld Stranger Wrath. I bought this before it came to the IGC (bought it on cross-buy). Despite being an fps, is one that I can actually play and enjoy. The game is very good to play on the go and that’s why it gets the 4th place.

3rd – New little King Story. A very simple and childish game, but great to play on the go. It joins two types I really like a lot, RPG and Building. Give it a try.

2nd – Gravity Rush. The game is an almost perfect. Great Story, good controls, full use of the ps vita hardware (including Accelerometer, back touch pad, etc)

1st – Lego Lord of the Rings. Gets here for the fact that is related with Lord of the rings (I’m a complete geek remember) and I love Lego. This game does fall short on two aspect, replaying already passed levels, appears shorter than the ps3 version (although I don’t why).

Honourable mentions. This are games that I didn’t enjoy for the fact I’m unable to properly play them on a console, but if I could, they would be on the top five for sure:

Far Cry 3, Battlefield 3, Hitman, X-com Enemy Unknown (bought this one on Steam after it hit the IGC).

Now games from December because I was on exams this past month and hadn’t time to check them.

Cheers!

 

Dump to ps3

Ever since the launch of ps vita, people complained about the lack of backward compatibility with the psp games. First of all, Sony abandoned UMD (thank the Lord for that), so no loading of UMD games on the vita; secondly, they announced that the program to get the umd at a lower price on psn was only available on Japan (hummm?!?); and finally they marked on psp games on the psn as ps vita games also, charging a full price for a 4 (or more) years old game.

This attitude left many dedicated fans thinking “What am I going to do with my UMD collection? Do I need to carry two consoles with me or just spend (another) bunch of money re-buying my games? (if they are available on psn, otherwise, tough luck).

The problem seems to be without solution, but only Sony wish it to be without solution. A few years ago, right after the first CFW/devhook for the psp someone release an UMD dump homebrew. The piece of Software basically  made a file from the UMD that a CFW could read through an ISO loader. This allow legit buyers that had a cracked psp to carry with them a bunch of games without carrying a bunch of UMD’s. The games would all go to the psp memory stick. This had several advantages.

  1. you would carry several games on the same card;
  2. meaning that, when you where tired of a game you could switch to another
  3. and the games loaded much (really much) faster.

With this in mind, I came up with the idea of a official psp software that would allow us to dump our legit bought UMD’s to a ps3 hard drive and them just copy them to the ps vita.

In order to give some restrain to piracy, the dumped games could only be played on a ps vita registered to the same account on the ps3 where the files had been created. This still doesn’t stop you from borrowing your friends UMD to dump to your ps3, but it would limited it by far.

And if you don’t have a ps3, Sony could create a desktop app with the same functions and restrictions, an addon to CMA so to speak.

This idea might go a long way to boost ps vita sales, because people would at the console and say “Ok, if I buy this device, I can dump all my umd to my ps3/pc and them just play them on the ps vita. Nice”

Cheers!

Is the ps vita the new n-Gage

With more than a year of life ps vita is far from being the success Sony expected. Vita sales are all times low and apparently, never, since launch, it’s weekly sales have surpass it direct competitor, the 3ds. One must ask himself what is the problem? I personally own a vita. When I bought it I was torn between getting the ps vita or the 3ds. End up with vita for a single reason: hardware specifications. All other arguments where in favour of 3ds.

More games, backward compatibility with other ds games, lower price, easier to hack and run homebrews (ds flash cards have been around since the console was released, and as I write this post it’s already possible to run 3ds games on 3ds via flash card). But where the 3ds lack, ps vita excels – the hardware it’s built in.

This relation led me to remember a device that was the “Next big Thing” in portable gaming. The n-Gage. It was a great device, that never succeed. So we come to my main question. Is the PS vita the n-gage of the 2012? N-gage had “almost” everything it needed to succeed. Good hardware, join games with music with cellphone, read memory card (sd at the time), easy to install games that weren’t “arranged” legally and had an OS with personal digital agenda (PDA) functions. I remember buying  a s60 nokia phone in that period and I still use it. So why did n-gage failed? Because of the same reason that ps vita is failing: the sense that simply there aren’t any good games for the system.

Sure we had the release of Soul Sacrifice, Ragnarok, FIFA13, just to mention some. But the fact is, that if you start trying to pin-point the best vita games, you do not have much to choose from. For instance, where is Monster Hunter? Or Final Fantasy? Phantasy Star Portable?

Right now the system is on a life support system called “Playstation plus” that give 2 “free” games for the system every month and two extra for one year. However, it doesn’t have a life of it’s own, and the guilty part here is Sony.

They were so focus on preventing piracy that they ended up punishing the fans. And let’s face it, psp only started to sell like water in the desert when is was cracked. The good games for psp only came out after the console was cracked (like with all previous gaming systems from Sony). Now ps vita already has some good games (expensive as hell, but that’s another subject), it’s include in the ps+ program, has great hardware (lot’s of it not used) and the new ps4 will put the vita even more on the front line of gaming. But is that enough?

I personally don’t thing so. Where I live (Portugal) the ps vita as Zero Marketing and from I (don’t) see on youtube, neither the rest of the World. So I leave you with a list of what might save ps vita (with an emphasis on the “might”):

  • More marketing (and a good one).
  • Good games, at decent prices, need to come out.
  • The memory card price tag problem must be solved ASAP, either by putting a 8gb card on every box or by lowering the cards prices (the second being the best).
  • Some sort of backward compatibility for psp games and an app store similar to Apple and Google app store where apps can be published either for a low price or free (it’s a pity that all that marvellous hardware is only used on games).

With this I think that ps vita might actually beat the DS line to the ground, stop living on life support and be a true independent system, that can also work with living room system. Instead of the terrible feeling that I got from the ps4 show, The vita will be a companion for the ps4 that can also play games on the go.

Give me your comments and toughs on it.

Playstation Plus

When I bought my ps vita, it came with a voucher for a one year subscription of playstation plus (ps+), valuing 50€. At first I tough that it was another crappy marketing maneuver made by Sony. I couldn’t be more mistaken. The marketing is surely there. They wave at you with the “instant Game Collection”, “Additional discounts on sales” and Special discounts only available for ps+ subscribers. If you buy the service, it costs you 50€ (maybe less if buy/renovate it in Christmas time), in return you get all the mention above.

But what each of those items means.

“Instant Game Collection” – this translates to 3 free games for your ps3 and 2 free games for your ps vita. this games are yours to play as long as your subscription is active, even after they are replaced by other 3+2 games twelve months later. This games are usually reference games for each console. Last year games where: Little Big Planet 2 (ps3), Infamous 2 (ps3) and MotorStorm Apocalypse (ps3), Uncharted Golden Abyss (ps vita) and Gravity Rush (ps vita). While the vita games are still up, in the middle of June the ps3 titles where replaced (for a period of twelve months) by Uncharted 3: Drakes Fortune, Xcom: Enemy Unknown and Little Big Planet Karting.

This 5 games alone more than worth the 50€/year you have to pay. However, every month, and for a 30 days period, 5 more games enter the roaster.

Just to give you an idea, here is the list for June, July and August 2013

June: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (ps3), ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection (ps3), Demon’s Souls (ps3), Rayman Origins (ps vita) and Coconut Dodge Revitalised (ps vita)

July: Battlefield 3 (ps3), Payday: The Heist (ps3), Saints Row the Third (ps3), Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus (ps vita) and Unit 13 (ps vita) (and a big rip-off)

August (start today): Need for speed: Most Wanted (ps3), Mafia 2 (ps3), Spec Ops: The Line (ps3), Lego Lord of the Rings (ps vita) and When Vikings Attack! (ps vita)

These 3 months alone go well over 100€, no imagine this for 12 months… But before you go running to your local store to buy this or quickly login in your psn account to buy a subscription, there are some cons on this service.

The biggest one is for people that like to run homebrews on their consoles. Ps+ forces you to update to the latest version in order to access psn and there for to be able to download your “free” games.

One other issue is that you depend exclusively from want Sony thinks you want to play. For instance, this month the list for ps3 has nothing for me since I mainly enjoy RPG, however, June was AWESOME because of Kingdoms of Amalur. This means that sometimes we can ended up playing games you would never buy.

The third issue relates with a vita problem (don’t miss my article “Is the Ps Vita the new n-gageto be publish soon already publish, just follow the link). Sometimes there will be a psp game slipped away between a monthly update branded as a ps vita game. This problem mainly affects North America and is accompanied by a lot of flaming in the official blog and forums.

However, if you don’t care about running homebrews on your console, don’t care about being force to update and specially, don’t want to spend a fortune in games, this service is for you.

if you like this post, share it on your social networks or post a comment.

Cheers

Francisco

I’ve recently got a windows 7 64bit laptop and I decided to install in it my favorite game of all times: The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. After completing the installation and copying a bunch of mods from my older installation (in a Windows 7 32Bits laptop) I tried to start the game and every single time I tried to run it crashed to the desktop (CTD) with the message that the process oblivion.exe had stopped working. After a bunch of attempts to get the game running, including compatibility mode, updating the drivers of the graphic card and others, I found a solution that worked.

The only way to solve this was to delete everything inside the folder documents/my games/oblivion The only thing I didn’t deleted was the game saves. After that the game started working.

So here is my advice for those with a similar problem, just delete the files that are inside that folder and you’ll be fine.

After a few month of inactivity, I’m back with some comments on Portable stuff (in terms of technology, of course).

In the last few weeks portals like Android and Me and Engadget (If anyone knows others please share them with us) have been releasing a lot of news about tablets, android based for the most part. While I really think this is quite good, it’s also quite frustrating and limited.

For two years I’ve been a user of portable applications and games. Back in the beginning of 2008  I received my first U3 pen with 16 GB and another one, a DATAFERRY with 16GB. After a few months using, and loving, U3 I got tired off all the good applications where payed, and not that cheap most of them, so I changed to Portableapps.com, a free and opensource platform to take your applications with you. For instance, this post is being written on the portableapps version of Firefox.

Thanks to the possibility of taking all of my favorite applications with me, and having an Asus EEE 901 (20GB SDD) to tag along, I end up realizing that there’s a huge flaw in today’s software. Most software isn’t developed with Portable guys (like me) in mind. When you have a netbook with only 20GB available you start to rely on your pen drive for most stuff. And if you discover that you can carry applications in your pen drive instead of installing them on you pc, them you will understand my reasoning. Also, my EEE 901 has Ubuntu linux on it, being the core of the OS in the 4GB SDD and the HOME partition on the 14 GB SDD. If I went around and installed all the stuff I need I would run out of space in no time (and trust me, my installation of Ubuntu was 6 months ago and I only have 600MB out of 4GB free).

And if I’m going to a place where I know that I’ll have a pc available, I don’t want to carry my netbook with me (the screen is to small for a long term usage). So what’s my “solution”? Portable windows applications. If you go to any kind of torrent site you’ll loads of software, from the MS Office tools, to burning software, media players, games and other software. However, none (or very few) are legal copies of the software you want/need to use.

The way I see it, we are going to have a real battle between OS in the (very) near future. Mostly because they will all want to be the masters of Tablets, in the same way that Windows is the master of personal computers (I know there are a lot of Mac and Linux users around, but let’s face it, most of the computers have windows installed).

And if the event is inevitable, as I think it is, them, in my opinion, developers should start focusing on making their applications portable and able to run from a pen drive.

Just imagine the following situation:
We are a supervisor at a construction site, going around with your Windows tablet pc, taking notes and checking stuff, saving the documents and notes directly to your loyal high-capacity pen drive. You finish your walk-around and it’s time to show the results to your superior. Unless your superior has the programs you use to take the notes, you’ll have to show them on the tablet screen, that might not be the most comfortable screen to see it. But what if the programs you use are portable editions, that can easily run from a pen drive? You just un-plug the pen drive from your tablet, plug it on his computer and voila! You are now showing the result of your work on a comfortable 14″+ screen.

I hope I’ve made my point clear. In the near future we need legal and ready to use portable applications. As for me, I’ll continue to use the not so legal version (I actually own all the “portable” applications I use) but portable applications because I have to think about my health (specially my eyes).

Be well!

Francisco Ribeiro

How to Make a Portable Game System.

So I was surfing the web for portable games, i.e. games that I can run from a pendrive on any windows/wine computer and found this site. I haven’t try it out, but I just loved the idea of it, so I decided to share this you.

The concept is quite simple (of understanding at least). You take a normal game system, like genesis or Dreamcast and using a series of mods and tweaks, turn it in to a portable game system, similar to a psp or a Nds.

Now, I’ve always wanted to have a N64, to play Mario 64, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and so on, so I think is this time I’m going to give it a try.

On another topic, this blog is receiving a lot of visitors (as soon as I know how to post the chart I’ll do it). However the social vibe widget I’ve put on the side bar doesn’t register any movement at all. So I need to ask, are you unsensitive to the problem of hunger or you haven’t notice the widget. The reason why I’m mentioning this is that we all live in the same planet and we all need a Global Conscience.

Francisco Ribeiro

Dell Home & Home Office | Ubuntu | Dell.

I was surfing the Portuguese news when I saw a reference to this site. Being a Linux user (on my Asus EEE 901) I immediately did a google search for Dell’s site in order to confirm this.

After reading the site above I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading. So there’s a major producer of personal computers going full on linux… The looks like Paradise for open-source defenders.

And the best part is that one of the reasons they advance for the support is one of the most important for companies nowadays. Safety!  Every business, big or small, multinational or local, depends on this simply concept. the safer the system you’re on, more confident your customers will have on your services.

As for my part, the only reason why I don’t migrate to Linux fully is a very shameful one, I just love Computer Games, either World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, Neverwinter Nights or others. And despite the fact of having wine, it’s not the same thing. For instances, I can run WoW on my Asus EEE 901 via wine at 4-9fps, which is very very low, however, in a short period I used windows xp on the same computer I could run WoW at 14-20fps, which is playable. Now I know the graphic card on netbooks are poor at best, but the same game, on the same system with a diferent Os, emulation vs. native made a huge difference.

I just hope other companies follow Dell’s example, and somewhere in the near future Linux is more supported by Games producers, Software producers and Hardware producers, allowing us to have true freedom of choice 🙂

Cheers Dell!

M33 6.20 Plugin – Neue Spiele auch für die 5.00 M33**UPDATE**

Torky at pspsource.de released a plugin for all the lovers of psp CFW 5.00M33-6.

This plugin allows you to play backed up games and UMD that require an Official Firmware of 6.20, or so the developers says so.

How to get the plugin for all you eager gamers. Just follow the link above and download…

Could it be that simple? Of course not.

First of all, the developer forbid everyone from posting the file on any other site than pspsource.de or pspkings.de This is what a call and very (not) smart move, since bought sites are in German and not everyone on the psp Scene knows German.

Second, there’s no guide on how to make the plug-in to work. Where do I put it? How do I activate it? Just some silly questions that could be answered on a guide (preferably in English).

Third, I tried with Harvest Moon Hero Leaf Valley and didn’t work, and since I’ve got other things to do, then trying to discerne why it didn’t work I’ll just wait for someone (preferably Torky) to make a guide (in English) and to publish the plug-in in an English site (this will have to be done by Torky otherwise we’ll never see updates for this.)

So my friends, that know German, run to pspsource.de and download the plug-in, for all non-German speakers, Google Translate is our friend.

A final note: torky thanks for the plug-in, keep up the great work, but for the Scene sake, stop being a child and put it on and English site with a guide so other can enjoy your work. And if you’re afraid that your work will be stolen, choose a site, any site, named it as your flag site for English language and put the software there.

btw, your work will be stolen, that’s for sure, it’s the crappy world we live in because we made it like this.

Public notice: This blog does not endorse in any way Piracie or the use of pirate software. CFW are useful as they allow you to release the full potential of your console and the testing of games before buying them (and there are games that are completely disappointing.

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