CodyLoco's Random Rants… A little bit of everything…

7Sep/101

PS3 mandatory system update tries to block PSGroove jailbreak, can be bypassed!

Do you own a PlayStation 3? You might have not been following this in gaming news, but the once-thought-to-be-invincible console has finally been jailbroken to play homebrew code (like PlayStation 2 emulators) as well as load game backups off the hard-drive at twice the read speed it would get from the disc thanks to an open sourced code called PSGroove, which can be run on a USB Dev board like the Teensy++.

PSGroove Jailbreak on PS3Following Sony's legal battle that managed to ban the PSJailbreak in Australia, the retail jailbreak key that was way overpriced at around $170, Sony has obviously now shifted part of their efforts onto patching the PS3's software with the mandatory release of the PS3 Update 3.42.  Given that the update only takes the software from 3.41 to 3.42, and there are no new features provided, it can be assumed (and has been confirmed) that it is an attempt to block the PS3 jailbreak exploit.

PS3Hax.net has seen a massive increase in traffic since the release of the PSJailbreak, and has been faithfully covering the news and keeping the community updated on the latest on PSGroove.  Their users have already found two confirmed methods of bypassing the mandatory update (be sure to go through the comments) for fears that Sony may be able to identify the PSGroove's fake license code and ban the consoles from accessing PSN, similar to the "8002A227" ban that is applied to users who share their PSN accounts with too many friends.

At the moment, the PSGroove software has been ported to work on not just usb dev kits, but other devices like Android phones and even TI-83 calculators.  Work is underway to port it for use on the PSP, and it is believed that it will probably at some point be portable to something every PS3 gamer has: the DualShock 3 controller.

The real beauty of the PSGroove is that it does NOT modify or void the warranty on your console in any way - all you literally need to do is plug a device loaded with the software into the USB port, hard power your PS3, and start loading your games onto the internal or external hard drive!  Although it does not yet load ISO images, most respectable torrent sites like TorrentLeech.org have already begun receiving PS3 torrents, like the site mentioned listing 52 PS3 games available for download at this time of writing including Mafia 2, Just Cause 2, and Blur.

14Mar/090

EVGA wants you to try their newest tech for free

Want to play with EVGA's newest tech for free?  In a similar fashion to what hardware and gaming reviewers at the big magazines and enthusiast websites get to do, the average Joe can now sign up to (possibly) receive a sample of EVGA's latest hardware to try out and review.  After your 14-day trial is over, you are expected to pay to ship it to the next participant in line as determined by the company.

3D Vision Loaner ProgramAs of March 11 / 2009, there are currently two programs you can enrol in if you are living in the US or Canada:

Program 1: NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Glasses w/ Samsung 22" 120hz LCD, (worth about $600) or
Program 2: EVGA X58 Classified Limited Edition Motherboard (worth about $450)

Keep in mind two things though...

Program 1: Shipping - even the Ground UPS that EVGA requires must be quite expensive for that monitor, and
Program 2: EVGA does NOT supply any other hardware with the motherboard, such as a supported CPU / RAM...

Either way, even after reading the TOS, it looks like a fair enough deal.  All you are required to do is check the product for damages when you receive it (remember it will be coming from someone else, and you don't want to be liable), make sure you ship the product on the 14th day, and send some feedback to EVGA before seven days have passed after you sent it off.  You are liable for any damages to the product while in your posession or during shipping (insurance!!!), and if you forget or refuse to ship it at the end of your trial they will assume you have kept it and send you a bill.

Either way, it seems like a pretty fair and up-front attempt by EVGA to get some feedback, and I don't see any "catches" that would make me refuse the offer (other than shipping).  If it weren't for the fact that I will be flying back to Costa Rica fairly soon, I would go ahead and add myself to the list.

Check out the loaner program for more information.

20Oct/082

Early copies of LittleBigPlanet sell on eBay for up to $350. Why?!

LittleBigPlanet on eBay

LittleBigPlanet on eBay: $350!?

I'm desperate to get my own hands on LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3, and the recent recall due to Quran references has made it an even harder wait since it now won't be released until October 27th in North America.

However, I'm not desperate enough to pay $350 for a copy of the game on eBay like a user by the eBay alias johnald214 did just to get it a week early.  Granted, I'm sure there is some kind of a "collectible" draw to it, but is it worth nearly $300 so you can hear two lines from the Muslim Holy Book in a song?!

Granted, he's not the only one that paid the price to be able to play the game early, as other auctions closed at $202.50, $183.68, $175.00, $152.50, $139.50, $130.00, $120.00...

On a side note, I was on YouTube looking at levels and came across someone that actually made a fully functional calculator "level" in the Beta for LBP:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiRgYBHoAoU[/youtube]

If you just can't wait another week, run off to eBay and within a week your "collectable" copy of the game will arrive at your doorstop just as everyone else gets home from Wal-Mart with their normal, and much cheaper version.  What's your take?

18Oct/080

LittleBigPlanet release pushed back to Oct 27, 2008

This will be pretty dissapointing if you have been patiently waiting for PlayStation 3's LittleBigPlanet (like I have):

LittleBigPlanet

LittleBigPlanet: Delayed Oct 27th, 2008 (NA)

Sony has officially pushed back the North American release date for LittleBigPlanet to October 27th, 2008 because someone on their forum says they found what is apparently lyrics in one of the licensed songs that are actually passages in the Quran.

According to the poster, Solid_08, "Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending.".

Here is a copy I found of the original post that caused Sony to delay the game:

To: Sony Computer Entertainment & Media Molecule

While playing your latest game, "LittleBigPlanet" in the first level of the third world in the game (titled "Swinging Safari":smileywink:, I have noticed something strange in the lyrics of the music track of the level. When I listened carefully, I was surprised to hear some very familiar Arabic words from the Quran. You can listen to part of the track here:

mt14.quickshareit.com/share/p...lip22503c0.wav

The words are:

1- In the 18th second: "?? ??? ????? ?????" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').

2- Almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "?? ?? ????? ???" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish').

I asked many of my friends online and offline and they heard the exact same thing that I heard easily when I played that part of the track. Certain Arabic hardcore gaming forums are already discussing this, so we decided to take action by emailing you before this spreads to mainstream attention.

We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending. We hope you would remove that track from the game immediately via an online patch, and make sure that all future shipments of the game disk do not contain it.

We would also like to mention that this isn't the first time something like this happened in videogames. Nintendo's 1998 hit "Zelda: Ocarina of Time" contained a musical track with islamic phrases, but it was removed in later shipments of the game after Nintendo was contacted by Muslim organizations. Last year, Capcom's "Zack & Wiki" and Activision's "Call of Duty 4" also contained objectionable material offensive to Muslims that was spotted before the release of the final games, and both companies thankfully removed the content.

We hope you act immediately to avoid any confusion and unnecessary controversy, and we thank you for making such an amazing game.

Regards,

yasser
psn id : solid08

Sources:  Sony's Blog, 1Up, Original Thread (Cache)

17Oct/080

Resistance 2 MP beta hands on: an MMORPG grind?

Those that either pre-ordered the game or got ahold of Qore Episode 3 should have received their Resistance 2 Public Beta beta keys by now.  Now that the 2.2GB download is finished on my PlayStation 3, I have finally been able to log my own hours in the game's surprisingly lag-free multiplayer.

The beta gives you access to both major multiplayer modes: cooperative and competitive play.  I tried cooperative first, and after two and a half hours I have to admit I'm not very impressed by the gameplay.

Upon entering the game, you are joined by seven other allied players and given assignments in order to move along the game within the map.  The idea should have worked, but in the game, you immediately feel like you are grinding through some kind of MMFPSOG (or MMO-FPS?) instanced dungeon, except you only have one or two abilities at your disposal unlike the depth an MMO provides.

Take a look at the screenshots and you'll see the obvious similarities (and I appologize for them being iPhone pictures!): you gain XP for the amount of damage you cause an enemy and when you take them down, ammo pickups (items, which one of the three classes drops for you) has a distinct-loot glow to it, enemies have health bars and, believe it or not, stars above their head to indicate difficulty/boss, and while playing you often find yourself standing in place unloading clip after clip (kind of like a melee tank spamming your one attack ability) as if it were your assigned task for the evening...

The experience you gain apparently does allow for some unlockables.  You seem to randomly pick up or aquire some kind of tech currency (can't remember what it's called right now, sorry!) which is required in order to purchase upgrades for your classes such as armor and abilities.  Weapons appear to become available automatically as you level up as well.  As a soldier, you start out with the Wraith, a 1,200 round-per-minute gatling gun with a 200 round clip.  When you take into consideration the spin-up time and fact that it seems like your crawling if you move while firing, it really feels like you have no choice but to stand there and take the abuse.  Then again, the game does even call the Soldier class a Tanking Class!  Once you hit level 2, you are awarded with a rather unimpressive double-barrel shotgun which while more manuverable is rather weak.

In my opinion, the fact that there are only three classes: a Healer, which obviously revives and heales, a Spec Op, who's main job is to snipe and provide the squad with ammo, and the Soldier, who is the tank and can generate shields, makes for a rather shallow gameplay experience- especially since they obviously took so many queues from MMORPGs.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: the enemy AI is embarassing at times.  Bosses will take turns in order shooting at a single player for a set amount of time, then move on to shoot the next.  While there can often be a surprising number of normal enemies on screen at a time, they don't seem to do much other than stand there and shoot and I have often seen them stuck walking at a wall until they decide it's time to switch to target a new player.

Of course, many will say that the game is still in Beta... but it's almost out and refining these kinds of details last minute would probably cause more harm than good.  That said, let's move on to competitive mode.

One of my biggest griefs with any online game is lag.  I can't stand it- if it's laggy, I won't play.  After about an hour of playing an endless competitive match with fifty-nine other players I realized something quite impressive: I forgot that I was actually playing over the internet.

I didn't see a single hint of lag the whole time.  This means I myself didn't lag at all, and incredibly, it also means I didn't see anyone else lagging at all.  That's impressive for a game that puts sixty players on two teams against each other (Chimera vs Human of course) and is still in beta nonetheless.

Gameplay is faced-paced and surprisingly fun.  The match I joined had the two teams playing a team deathmatch, but at the same time kept a steady flow of objectives that kept the battle focused and offered goal to fight towards.  Over the course of my hour's gameplay, I saw two different objectives: a fairly common hold-the-point or king-of-the-hill with one strategic point on the map, and a VIP

defense objective where one of our players became the VIP and he had to survive for at least two minutes on order to succeed.

Quick respawn times and fast paced, lag free action will probably make Resistance 2' competitive play one of the most popular online games when it comes out, but unless something changes drastically I don't think you will see me in the lobby waiting for a new cooperative match to start very often.

Again, sorry for the iPhone pictures of the screen! 😀

16Oct/082

How to make text readable on bright PS3 themes

Seemed like almost every theme I would download to my PS3 had way too bright a wallpaper which would cause the text from navigation options hard to read if it was white-on-white, so I would end up going back to the original colored monthly wallpaper.

Turns out though, you can actually lower the brightness of the wallpaper making it MUCH easier to read text on most themes. This is a great plus I find since Sony just recently finally introduced the moderately decent looking premium themes.

If you want to change the brightness on yours to see what I mean, go to Settings -> Theme Settings -> Background -> Brightness.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't notice this until update 2.50 so I couldn't tell you when it appeared for sure. Actually, it has probably always been there it jus took me this long to notice it...

On a side note, just got my access to the Resistance 2 beta so I'll update on that once it's downloaded, assuming there is no pesky NDA attached!