Wednesday 16 January 2008

Bedroom Etiquette

Okay, so I have been bed-ridden since Monday, due to a terrible 'injury'. (I am not going into any further detail on this subject...) But I have had a revelation into the way that the modern workplace should be. It's like this - Sat up in bed, winter sunshine pouring in through the window, laptop on the lap as nature intended... PSP, DS and Giz next to me in case of sudden need of digital entertainment, Monte Carlo or Bust on the TV providing ambient distraction. Apart from the semi-consistent screaming and shouting from the kids downstairs, I think all offices should adopt this environment. I could really get used to this...

Right, well, games. Yes. Apart from the inclusion of Need for Speed: Pro Street on the PS2, I have been almost pathologically playing through the various Capcom, EA, Sega and SNK collections I have recently procured on the PSP. I really can endorse these collections, as friend of the Wife's (called Rich) showed me practically all of the games I have on his custom firmware PSP. Without the added advantage of better compatibility. I really hope that more collections from various software houses make an appearance on the handheld systems, as I can't get enough of them!

Oh yes, and I might get round to playing NFS:PS before long too...

- Galford

Wednesday 9 January 2008

To Hack, or Not to Hack...

Okay, so due to family responsibilities, I was unable to post before Christmas. So therefore let me be the first person to wish you a happy Christmas. For next year.

Some of my more annoying pseudo-hacker friends have been telling me that getting my PSP fixed up with custom firmware is a good idea. They have been trying to sell the idea that 'opening up the full potential' of my PSP is really the thing to do, and that the chance of it getting totally bricked in the process is not very likely. Is it me, or are these people starting to sound worryingly like politicians? I personally am not going to advocate either, because I believe that the chance of rendering a very expensive (at the time) and very sentimental piece of hardware inoperable for the chance to play downloaded games does not seem that big a plus point, but after being completely and utterly disappointed by the Sony Store and the chance to get one over on the ultimate faceless conglomerate is on the other hand, makes it an appealing concept.

I like the idea of being able to play old games on my handhelds, games that once required you to have hardware that was tied to the wall. It seems that, until the Sony Store gets it's shit together, there is still one small ray of hope in an otherwise darkening world.

I received Gamestation gift vouchers from my place of employment as a Christmas gesture. This is a nice thing, and their philosophy behind it is 'We are going to get you vouchers to somewhere that you personally like shopping, so that you have to buy something that you like, and not something that your spouse orders you to procure.' So I spent most of it on the Metal Slug Anthology, Capcom Classics Remix and Capcom Classics Reloaded - which are now at the bargain price of 'Buy two for £20, or £12.99 each' That, coupled together with a copy of Everybody's Golf makes a grand total of 48 games for £40. Less than a quid a game! And when you consider that the whole lot were purchased with vouchers - that's as good as downloading roms from the Internet, with the added bonus of being legal and not risking my hardware! Bring it on!

My group of friends and I are of the opinion that we are nearing the end of buying games and software on physical storage mediums such as CD and cartridge (that would be nice, up yours Blu-Ray!) and that downloading is cheaper, more convenient and especially with the PSP, save battery life and increase portability by not having to carry round unequivocally the worst form of digital media ever devised - the UMD. I have already seen the advantages of flash media being used on the GBA and DS with conduit cartridges (courtesy of the same annoying people as in paragraph 1), but Nintendo still look down on this illegal and damaging to the industry. Take a hint - produce your own! Sell the games online for a large percentage less than it would cost to create single game cartridges, let the punter download them, not have to switch carts to play other games! It makes so much sense! Cartridges and discs are as pointless as a man with no fingers saying 'there it is'!

- Galford.