[ Shihiko° × Game。]

About Games. by Shihiko°

May 27th, 2011

Tomorrow the PlayStation Network in Japan is restored and so will most of Asia’s PlayStation Network services… Despite Sony taking longer to bring back the PlayStation Network for Asia, it seems like Japan also gets the short end of the stick for the Welcome Back Package.

I still standby that Sony should have given everyone store credit and decide on what the customers want. Core PlayStation users will already have most of the things they are offering… I can’t believe the おいでよLocoRoco!! BuuBuu Cocoreccho! screensaver game is being offered as a free title. Imagine you had all the games that were being offered? The titles on offer for the Japanese PlayStation Network users are as follows:

PlayStation 3:

  • The Last Guy
  • おいでよLocoRoco!! BuuBuu Cocoreccho!
  • Echochrome
  • WipeOut HD
  • Hustle Kings

PlayStation Portable:

  • 勇者のくせになまいきだor2 PSP the Best [What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord? 2]
  • みんなのスッキリ [Minna no Sukkiri]
  • パタポン 2 ドンチャカ♪ PSP the Best [Patapon 2]
  • Little Big Planet Portable
  • LocoRoco -Midnight Carnival-

There is of course also the free 30 day period of PlayStation Plus. From the outside it doesn’t look like there is much difference between the packages offered for the Welcome Back Packages offered by the different regions. However the Asian network was down longer and when they return they are offered equal or less? Seems a little unfair… Let’s see where it isn’t so great.

About all the games offered for the PlayStation 3 are non-disc based games. This means they are games that are already distributed digitally… The only games that are probably worth picking up based on their replay value is WipeOut HD and Hustle Kings as they have Online mode. LocoRoco on PS3 actually isn’t a game either, I remember when I first got it I read it was supposedly a screen saver… The reality is it is a screen saver. Takes forever to beat the game and there is no saving your progress for next time.

Other regions have on offer mostly disc based games instead of a small handful of downloadable games. Not saying that disc based games are better, but will likely give more content than a downloadable game. Dead Nation, inFAMOUS and LittleBigPlanet are all great disc based games. Even the downloadable games on offer are better… WipeOut HD + Fury and Super Stardust HD. WipeOut HD + Fury? Notice that the Asia pack does not contain + Fury?

The PSP Games on offer however, I would slightly lean towards the Japanese package as Patapon series is a great game and has good replay value. Other than that the PSP packages feels evenly matched with what is on offer for the other regions. So moving along… PlayStation Plus… not good enough.

At the end of the day, does having PlayStation Plus really matter? Logically speaking, those who had PlayStation Plus would have had probably 2 months of service that was unavailable for them to collect their Plus content from. Since each month a Plus subscriber needs to go Online to collect some free content… On top of that, some Plus subscribers who had subscriptions expiring during the down time meant that their content would stop working and they wouldn’t be able to play those games until they are able to renew the subscription.

The free Plus service feels more like a marketing gimmick that makes us think we are gaining, but instead it is a Plus trial for every PlayStation user to let them try out what Plus is all about. This can work both ways for Sony as they may be able to sign up more people on Plus. At the same time if the service doesn’t feel as if the customers are gaining anything they may lose more potential future subscribers than they are expecting to return…

From my previous Plus Experiment and hopes for the service, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly special about Plus at the moment. All the talk about XMB Cross-Game Voice Chat when Plus was announced, never has come around right? I always expected Plus to be beneficial to customers who were willing to spend more on the PlayStation Store content… Except that every month was always disappointing titles for free and more old games on discount offers.

Personally I reckon the way Sony has done this has been very poor. It started out poorly handled, then went well when they started announcing the issue which I was willing to let that slide if they were willing to make up for it… Which is great of course that they are trying… Then I find out all the good games they offer are practically games that I already own, so it really doesn’t do the job of making up for others who maybe in the same boat as me. I still stand that they could have gotten away with less by offering us a an small amount of PSN credit in our accounts.

Case to point. Hopes for a great come back from Sony has been shattered… Guess it’s time to face the facts that Sony really does hurt themselves by holding back their own potential. :P

Source: 日本のお客様向け「感謝とおわびのパッケージ」詳細

September 20th, 2010

Going to the Tokyo Game Show was quite interesting. This was my first time to such an event, so it was an all new experience to see how things work at these exhibits. I was actually not in Tokyo at the time the event started, so I needed to travel a few hours to reach the location which this year was at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

Upon arriving at the station near Makuhari Messe there is many people walking towards the exhibit. You can follow them or listen to the people who try to guide you there with signs or gestures. Anyway, as you get closer to the building there is already a huge mass of people gathered outside lining up to enter… If you have a pre-purchased ticket you can move along to join the line, otherwise you need to line up to obtain a ticket. [Pre-purchased tickets are cheaper but you need to print it out yourself.] Even so, it turns out the line you are lining up at after the tickets is a security check line… After that it is actually straight into the exhibit.

It was packed. One thing that means is, you’re not going to be able to see everything. So prior to going I would probably recommend knowing where and what everything you want to look at is located. It is also probably much easier to do everything you want to check out if you were alone… I wasn’t. So I mainly hung around the Sony, Capcom and Level 5 area. I did drift to the other parts but mostly just to eat lunch and look at what else is on offer at the event.

Almost everything has a line… either that or you need to line up somewhere else before you can line up at a popular game. An example was most of the 3D or PlayStation Move booths at Sony required you to line up at another line to obtain a coupon that gives you a time slot so you can try the game you want to play. The other case was you could be lining up at a up coming game that also gives you some limited goods for trying the game, which was the case for Ni no Kuni… of course you could also try it at the Sony booth without a 30 or 60 minute line to wait in.

The real nice thing about going to these events is you can see and experience the games rather than base your judgement on the videos and pictures or content offered online. Truly some games need to be seen to be enjoyed or appreciated… since some games or media content are staged. This explains why without a press license we are unable to take pictures of videos of any games at the event as they are mainly all work in progress of concept demonstrations. Mavel vs Capcom 3 did look much nicer than the online videos show it to be. Little Big Planet 2 was nice to see too.

It’s probably a good plan to also try things that will probably be too expensive to experience at home or concept games that probably won’t make it to any platform in the near future. Since I was there with two of my online friends, we decided to try play Minna no Golf 5 in 3D because we probably can’t afford the set up at home or it might not even be released for the current version of the game. It was an interesting experience which you can read about here. I didn’t try the PlayStation Move as it was already released elsewhere in the world so it isn’t exclusive, also it was good enough to watch the booth assistants demonstrate it as it gives a good idea of how responsive it is.

If you plan to hang around from the start to the end, then another good idea would be to prepare your own lunch. You can hang around in lines and eat your lunch instead of lining up and paying for a lower than standard quality lunch which saves you time and money so you can play and view more games. I guess the same case goes for if you want to buy some limited goods at the place, you need to be there early so you can insure that you will obtain the goods you want… I had no interest in that part of the show, but my friend was lining up two hours before the event in order to get his hands on a Moogle plushie.

To wrap it up, I quite enjoyed the event except there shouldn’t be a need to line up to reserve a spot just to try a game. Also it would have been nicer if we were allowed to take pictures of the event instead of only the area between the buildings that had cosplayers getting their photos taken… That area would have also been nicer if it wasn’t where we needed to walk through to get to the other areas of the event, as in they could put it in another area away from the people who are trying to navigate around the exhibit. Some freebies would have been nice too… :)

September 16th, 2010

So the Tokyo Game Show 2010 started today… I haven’t been following the news and press release closely, but I do see a few things I look forward to trying this weekend. Ni no Kuni, Patapon 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, GranTurismo 5, Little Big Planet 2, PlayStation Move and also up coming 3D games. I don’t think they will be awesome but might be a good experience and enlightening to what 3D may or may not be capable of.

Minna no Golf 5 had a short 3D display… I wonder if that means they are planning to patch the current game?

Anyway doesn’t seem like an awesome line-up of things to come but it is interesting none the less. :D