The Last of Us

Spoiler warning: This game is really good and you should definitely play it. I’ll do my best to talk in generalisations, but since this is a discussion of the story, I will have to make some assumptions. You have been warned.

If I were going to call a contender for the 2013 Game of the Year award, it would have to be Last of Us. It’s no technological marvel, and the gameplay is nothing new, but it sets a new standard in storytelling. Well, probably not as high as Torment – little approaches the masterpiece – but for a linear stealth/action game, it sets the bar really high.

Stories are most effective when we can identify with the characters. P likes to say she prefers Boromir over Strider because of his flaws. She finds Aragorn almost inhuman in his heroic perfection, while Boromir is more relatable because of his pride and susceptibility to temptation — and his redemption brings a little hope to the rest of us mere mortals. Continue reading

Massive Action Gaming!

Once again, I buy a game, get caught up in it, and forget to post. This time the culprit is Massive Action Game (MAG).

This was touted as being a new breed of co-operative multiplayer FPS… and in many respects it is. You do actually play games of 128-a-side (total player count: 256), and you are tasked with working together to attack or defend specific objectives in the same map. Continue reading

No play with PlayTV

I did more research on whether PlayTV would suit my needs, and it looks like there are a couple stumbling blocks:

  • PlayTV only records to the internal HDD. Given that it doesn’t compress the files, and will be sharing the drive with game saves and installs, I can see this filling up very quickly.
  • One can copy files from the HDD to an external USB drive, but there are extreme limitations. The PS3 only understands external drives in FAT32 format. This has a maximum file size of 4GB. Normally, this is fine, but under HDTV, you can squeeze maybe 30 minutes of TV. Forget longer shows or movies.
  • No ability to stream back from the PS3 to devices on the network other than the PSP.

This is sufficient dealbreaker for me, so I’m going back to building my own PVR. So far, I’ve built up an pretty impressive machine which will cost around $600. I still haven’t added in the tuner or remote control, but still not a bad deal.

I’m also mucking around with MythBuntu in a VM to see what it’s like (lack of tuner notwithstanding).

PlayTV comes to Australian PS3s

I’ve been contemplating a PVR for a while. Lack of funds and partner buy-in have sort of left me dead in the water, but P. recently saw a friend’s TiVo and was intrigued enough to suggest getting one (eventually).

Things have gone quiet on that front, but have since done some digging. Basic TiVo is cheap enough, but extra features (like playback on your PC via ethernet) are $100+ addons, and when I totted up the cost, it looked like I could build my own for the same price and get complete flexibility.

And now Sony’s gone and thrown a spanner in my works by announcing the PlayTV is coming to Australia. I still need to check the full feature set (can it record while gaming, network playback, etc), this would kill two birds with one stone: I was also looking to get a PS3 this Christmas.

At full retail price, the PS3/PlayTV combo comes to $670. If I were to build my PVR, I’d be looking at $1200 for the hardware (many hours of making it work just right) plus $500 for the PS3. This could save me potentially $1000, so I’m definitely going to check it out.

This may do what nobody has been failing to achieve for at least a year now: get me to buy a PS3 😉