PS4 On it’s Way to American Shores as it passes FCC inspections, Sound Shapes for PS3 rocks!…Final Single-Player DLC Campaign released for Aliens: Colonial Marines final Story-based DLC available for release & why I won’t be buying it [UPDATED: August 11th at 2:30 AM, 2013]

The FCC inspects the PlayStation 4 Devkits and the home-based Console units which both have passed FCC Regulation this week

Reference

According to Engadget.com (as per the link above) Sony’s latest console has passed FCC regulation and that makes it one step closer to setting sail for American shores. The Sony PS4 Devkit was apparently already approved by the FCC earlier this week. The Devkit, which is supposed to cost around a modest $2,500 (a much more reasonable price point than the full-featured PS3 Devkit which can cost nearly $10,000 for complete unit) is not yet for sale by Sony but has been loaned out to certain Independent Developers who have caught the eye of Sony. Eventually at some point, I’m assuming the full fledged Devkit will go on sale for all game developers, big or small, once the console has properly saturated the market. For more information on developing for the PlayStation 4, please visit http://us.playstation.com/develop/. Here’s part of the schematic’s Sony sent over to the FCC (again, courtesy of Engadget.com) to give you a better idea of this process:

A List provided by Sony to the FCC for it's physical and some internal specifications such as it's MAX Clock Frequency hovering around 2.75 GHz.

A List provided by Sony to the FCC for it’s physical and some internal specifications such as it’s MAX Clock Frequency hovering around 2.75 GHz.

Also, here’s a physical specification image sent over by Sony to assist the FCC in providing and attaining proper measurements perhaps?

A schematic of the visual appearance and measurements of Sony's PlayStation 4

A schematic of the visual appearance & measurements of Sony’s PlayStation 4

Best of PSN Collection has me hooked with the Dynamic Sound Platformer “Sound Shapes”

After installing some of the games included on Sony’s awesome “Best of PlayStation Network Vol. 1” Compilation I have fell in love with Queasy GamesSound Shapes“. It’s a great little platformer that includes awesome contemporary and retro music from popular groups such as Beck, Deadmou5 (don’t know if I got that spelled correctly, feel free to rampage me with corrections in the comments section), I Am Robot and many others. You play as this little amorphous blob-type creature that looks conspicuously like a egg cooked over easy. Sound Shapes retains the basic platformer elements such as jumping, speeding up using the square or trigger button to run and complete larger jumps as well as using different colored platforms to latch on to so that you can move around them, even upside down, without fear of reprisal. Also, the more sound shapes you jump and acquire during each level the more robust and awesome the music becomes. By jumping on certain sound shapes or certain platforms, you can add a drum beat, vocals, snares, hi-hats and the like as well as vocals, choruses, keyboard and guitar chords. Depending on how you play you have the ability to radically change the music from the beginning spawn point until the levels end. Hit all the right notes and you can unlock more features that can be used and added in the level editor to your own maps. What an awesome way to skyrocket the value of the games replay-ability. While I have yet to delve into the map editor myself, I have taken the basic tutorial and it seems overwhelmingly simple, easy to understand and even friendly to newcomers not used to game modification. Each series of maps is divided by a number of campaigns, and each campaign is essentially a different album from a variety of music artists. To further the games expandability, you can download new albums to add to the diversity of campaigns available as well as unlockables that can be used in the level editor. You can also purchase via the PlayStation Network Store new drum kit samples, new 8-bit retro samples etc to add to the games already ridiculous amount of musical content. Look for my full review coming soon!

One of the first campaign series of levels with the album comprised by musician "I Am Robot"

One of the first campaign series of levels with the album comprised by musician “I Am Robot

Aliens: Colonial Marines finally gets story-based expansion via the latest DLC pack. The real questions is: Does anyone care and does Sega and Gearbox really deserve more money for this abomination of gaming?

The Short Answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. and the long answer is 100 PERCENT ABSOLUTELY NOT!

After spending over $100 on the collector’s edition of this piece of garbage game and being seriously disappointed, they should be giving any DLC that is half-way decent away FOR FREE to it’s customers that bought or preordered this game brand new. The final DLC pack, entitled “Stasis Interrupted” involves three different characters who awake from their cryosleep only to discover in horror that their transport ship has been plagued with a scourge of Xenomorphs. The DLC’s intent is on resolving the half-hearted (OK, no heart really) attempt for Hick’s back story that took place between the end of Aliens and the beginning of Aliens 3 in A:CM is supposed to be answered in this DLC pack. Really though, at this point does anyone still care about this game? It was without a doubt the biggest letdown of 2013 for me after seeing those also FALSE and FAKE trailers that ran on high-end PC’s which were actually developed by TimeGate studios and had virtually no involvement or input from Gearbox, other than GB telling TimeGate to make sure the E3 2012 demo “look awesome”, regardless of what the XBOX 360 and PS3 could actually handle. The notorious demo, which can still be seen in all it’s glory shows many things that never made it to the full game, maps that were significantly altered and the AI looking much sharper and imposing than the games final release. Thanks to several absurdly huge updates for both Console and PC version, the game Is much more playable now then when it was initially launched in February. Unfortunately, the PC version benefits from this the most as updates and patches that can severely modify the game’s content can only be released for the PC version. I am holding out very little hope that the graphical anomalies, dynamic lighting, better textures and sharper AI will also be included in the future console patches and updates.

The UK Standards for Advertising (not sure if this is the actual name, but I think it’s close enough. Essentially, it’s kind of the U.K.’s equivalent to America’s Better Business Bureau) actually reprimanded Sega for falsely advertising their product and forced Sega to accompany banners that appear during each of the game demos and trailers which have all left us feeling very betrayed. The demos and trailers now must display a message forewarning anyone watching that “THIS FINAL PRODUCT DOES NOT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE THIS DEMO” or something to the effect of “THIS DEMO IS A RENDER BEING PLAYED ON A HIGH-END PC AND THIS IS NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FINAL VERSION OF GAME” or something along those lines. How embarrassing for Sega…a once well-known console and game developer now relegated to 3rd party publisher partly based in BAD DECISIONS like releasing A:CM upon the world when it clearly should’ve been canned altogether or had it’s release date pushed much further back so Gearbox, TimeGate, Demiurge or WHOEVER WAS WORKING ON THIS TRAINWRECK had time to properly correct this mess and make some good of it. Unfortunately, companies only answer to one entity: their shareholders. If they lose profit and nothing is gained from pouring millions of dollars into A:CM over that ridiculously long 7 year development period then the other companies that support Sega could jump ship, leaving them in financially dire straights. It’s not as if Sega is a bad publisher. Actually, quite the contrary. Sega has released some excellent console games, including the PS3 awesome PS3 exclusive “Valkyria Chronicles“, “Vanquish“, “Resonance of Fate” and their awesome “Sega Genesis Collection”. They also have released a few decent PC games over the years, such as the Company of Heroes series.

Even more saddening is that TimeGate Studios, the company largely responsible for trying to put this hulking disaster of a mess together during the past several years has had to layoff many employees and I believed, as of this writing, filed for bankruptcy. Also as of this writing, I’m not sure if TimeGate even exists as a game developer anymore. Even more upsetting and sad, considering the amount of slander Gearbox sent their way after the initial backlash from fans over the internet during the games release. Anonymous GB employees were quoted as saying that TimeGate had made a mess of the game when they had their paws on it and threw away most of the assets and work GB had already completed, although I don’t know what these were since several TimeGate employees responded to the negative and unfounded Gearbox posts on Reddit by simply stating that “The work, assets etc. Gearbox presented to us during A:CM’s final last years of troubled development clearly did not amount to 7 years of work Gearbox had been claiming”.  Many in the gaming community theorize that during these 7 years that A:CM was supposed to be in development, GB actually using Sega’s money to finish up their prized IP “Borderlands” and begin and finish work on “Borderlands 2“. While Sega are nowhere near completely innocent in this mess of a release, after year 6 Sega probably should’ve done a little investigative work and saw that their hard-earned capitol wasn’t even going to one of their published projects but to another Gearbox game entirely.  Bottom line: I have never seen such a disaster and aftermath following a games release since the likes of the Diablo 3 server fiasco and even going more far back, John Romero’s constant hype of his new studio Ion Storm’s first release “Diakatana” after splitting from legendary game developer ID Software which built the game into this amazing object of hype and fervor, to the point where there was no way it could be realized. Diakatana was critically panned by the press and public and Ion Storm went under not to far after. You think developers and to a further extent, publishers, would’ve learned their lesson with constant game failures of seismic proportions since the late 90’s and on but they still haven’t seem to get it yet. Games still get stuck in development @#!*% , they are continually hyped to the point of no return and have their release dates constantly pushed back and back and back AND BACK only to be released as underwhelming, buggy, graphically inferior and just altogether crap games. With all that has gone wrong with A:CM, the bankrupt game studio, the cancellation of the Wii U version, the constant patches and fixes, the non-stop finger pointing by Gearbox employees (just take a look at Randy Pitchford’s Twitter page who is floundering in his dismissal of gamers accusations that his company was just trying to innocently release it’s creative vision on the world but failed at their attempt – OK MAN, whatever. you. say) and the U.K. enforcing Sega to put disclaimers on all the games trailers and demos stating that the demo represents the final product in no way. Oh yes, did I also mention that several gamers have joined together in a Class Action Lawsuit against Sega for falsely advertising A:CM? I mean, their case does kind of have merit ALREADY, what with the U.K. calling fowl on Sega’s misrepresentative game trailers for A:CM.

So I guess if any of you are really interested to see if “Stasis Interrupted” is worth the 10, 15 or whatever amount of money for this DLC pack to a game that never deserved our hard-earned dough in the first place is really your call. If the DLC pack actually corrects all the bad graphics, horrible AI and terrible characters that crapped their way into the initial release and somehow salvages the story and interjects some emotionally-invested characters into this title, then maybe the ten-dollar investment for this DLC may be worth it. However, after already paying over $100 for the special edition of this game, I can personally tell you unless it’s free I have no intention of investing any more of my hard earned time or money into this mess that is Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Advertisements