Digital Division Gives Me The Vaporwares

Well, yesterday for a bit, I was visiting this hot place seen below and not in a good mood over what I saw was a digital injustice (yaaaaaa!):

(thanks, Cartridge Magazine!)

Today, I’m still in that mindset as far as digital-only content goes, but ha and ha bloody ha, when I screw up, I go for it 110%, plus tax. PLUS TAX I SAY!!!

So, last night a friend comes over to return some Blu-Rays he’d borrowed and asks if I’d updated my PS3’s firmware so I could retrieve my game that was “lost”, which just about made me drop the cup of coffee I’d prepared a few seconds before. Fortunately, he reached out and tipped the cup upwards and pressed the RESET button on my forehead before things went blank.

via GIPHY

Okay, kids – here’s what happened that afternoon (cue dream sequence harp tune):

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The Digital-Only Future? It Blows, Folks

So, color me somewhat annoyed. Yeah, yeah, I knew when one buys a digital product, be it a song, game, book or other file type, there’s the chance (well, actuality) that that data will expire and yes, *never* be available ever again unless there’s some sort of preservation being taken care of in the form of say, a physical backup or other legally obtainable copy. Anyway, yes, I still own a PS3 and use it on occasion – here’s what happened today when I went to dink around a bit with a game that’s not all that old:

Yep, that’s right. A game I’d downloaded had been “disappeared” from my PS3’s HDD with nothing left but that nice-looking startup screen. *Poof!*

As I was picking up my jaw from off the floor, my brain cycled in one of my favorite bits of dialog from a favorite film (that’s thankfully, still available on a dang disc):

Garry: The generator’s gone.

MacReady: Any way we can we fix it?

Garry: It’s “GONE”, MacReady.

Sure, I read the fine print on that license agreement, but to have a game in one’s library just VANISH is… kind of shocking and stupid at the end of the day. Was Master Reboot a GOOD game? I kind of have no idea other than the about 25 minutes I played sometime last year when it popped up as a free game on PSN and, not having tried it it, I downloaded it so (get this) I could play it any time I wanted to and find out. Yeah, that was a mistake on my part, I guess. My game historian/preservation side is appalled by this, but it isn’t a new thing. Ask anyone who played the superbly scary P.T. or the stupidly fun Scott Pilgrim vs. The World or any of the many other games that have disappeared from digital stores online.

(Thanks, Wales Interactive!)

Well, at least the PC version is still available (but digitally, grrrrrr!), although I prefer playing on my console(s) of choice.

Yes, I completely grasp that licenses expire after a period of time and all that rot, but a game, song, piece of art or other data important to some people shouldn’t at ALL go dinosaur extinct and become a mere memory after such a brief period. Feh. I’d close this with an “oh well” or something similarly aloof, but I think I’m going to hit myself in the head with a rubber hammer and take a nap until the next disappointing episode of Game of Thrones comes on later this evening. Oh, that show has been and will also be on many discs going into the future, you can bet on that… for now.

-GW

Star Trek TV Series Teaser: That NEW Final Frontier, A Minus For Those Who Can’t Stream


 

Um, Warp Factor ZERO on CBS for what seems to be a great idea on one hand, but a LOUSY one for people who don’t like to or can’t stream content to their homes. Apparently, the premiere episode will indeed be shown on your local CBS affiliate here in the U.S. of A., but after that, the show will ONLY going to appear as a part of CBS All Access, a paid channel similar to HBO GO. Ugh. As you can imagine, some are quite cranky about this. Me, I kind of hope the realization that the MORE people who can watch this show from the get-go means it finds an audience WITHOUT piracy to get more people watching than actually paying to see this. Yeah, yeah, I know the excuses for the pro-piracy crowd and how that activity can drive up viewership in some cases.

But in this particular case? I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and get more money from people just because you have a hot new show and a showrunner who’s done great things in the past. For many who want to see this legally and on what they already use, they may all be singing this little ditty (just roll with it. I know full well the old crew isn’t in this new show!):

(Thanks, Chris Carothers!) 

That and I’d bet Gene Roddenberry would want his stellar trekking vision free to all interested parties within eyesight of ANY sort of viewing device. Then again, the teaser promising among other things, “New Villains” along with that slow-motion planet cracking stuff may mean (SPECULATION ALERT!) that the new Trek will be more action-oriented for the shorter, easily bored attention spans these days.

I sure hope the hell not, though.

GW

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Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water- “Free to Start” Is The Frightful Part

Fatal Frame banner 

So, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water has been out for a little while and I’ve yet to play it. Not because I don’t want to, mind you. It’s just that Nintendo of America with Tecmo/Koei have made getting the actual game a bit of a chore unless you have a zippy fast broadband connection and about 10GB of hard drive space on your Wii U or a USB drive attached to the console. The game has a “Free to Start” demo that consists of the prologue and first two chapters and if you like what you’ve played, you then pony up $49.99 to download the rest of the game. That’s fine and dandy for those who can access that, but once again, gamers who want a legal physical release have to settle for nothing unless they can speak Japanese, own an import Wii U and buy a physical copy from one of the many import shops online.

Boo to that, I say. Continue reading

Star Wars Battlefront Trailer: Yes, The Force Is Strong With This One

 

SW Battlefront EndorWell, it looks as if some of you holding out on getting that fancy gaming PC or new gaming console may want to consider upgrading if you’re wanting a new Battlefront to play in. While this isn’t actual gameplay footage (“not actual , this Star Wars Battlefront trailer uses the in-game engine to spectacular effect and shows how developer DICE intends to bring the look and feel of classic Star Wars to the masses this November 17. PS4, Xbox One and Windows PC via EA’s Origin service only on this one, meaning you old console owners are going to have to make some new friends or finally retire your old beasts to a closet somewhere.

This one’s going to be huge. HOW huge? Well…

SW Battlefront Art BIG

 

Is that huge enough for you? I thought so.

E3 2014: Star Wars Battlefront: DICE Is Still Working Away On A Guaranteed Winner…

 
Yeah, that classic John Williams music got me as well, as did all the work in progress footage that’s way too early, but looks fantastic. Every gamer drooling over this one seems to be holding out for 60fps, but I’m not sure that’s possible with the multiplayer modes in this one. I’ll take a rock-solid 30 with no pop-in or other annoyances, the best visuals the developer can bring to the table, a solo offline mode and whatever multiplayer madness they can add to the mix, thank you much. Of course, I’m a patient guy, so that nebulous Spring 2015 teased at the end can creep up on me and I won’t bat an eyelash. I suppose I could just get myself frozen in carbonite until then, but then someone would forget to thaw me out and I’d miss more than this game when it finally ships…

Dragon Age Inquisition Update: Oh, The Places You’ll Go (And Stare At For Far Too Long)…

 
Lovely. While I wasn’t enamored with Dragon Age II‘s overuse of environments and SUPER truncated finale, that first game was quite spectacular through and through. The third game looks pretty mighty to behold in these trailers, but I’m hoping we see more open environments that beg to be explored like a real world spot where you want to stop and smell the virtual roses (without getting jumped by a pack of monsters or highwaymen). We’ll see soon enough, but I’m going to go out on a limb and trust BioWare has learned from keeping an ear to the ground for fan feedback by now that more is always better thing when it comes to freedom in how one plays their RPGs…

Capcom’s Beautiful『deep down』 Depresses Me Because It’s Doomed To Impermanence…

 
As a closet game historian and collector, every time I see Capcom’s 『deep down』, I shed a tiny tear because this amazing-looking in progress PS4 exclusive is going to be online ONLY, and lose a lot of potential sales from people like me who prefer the option to play offline and enjoy all that hard work without worrying about the usual crap ALL online games suffer from. Once interest wanes down the road or worse, sales don’t impress the shareholders (which shouldn’t determine ANYTHING, I say), those servers will slowly shut down and that game you paid good money for as a keeper becomes a bunch of beautiful and USELESS data that fades from memory.

This sort of thing is pure nonsense, I say. Game making shouldn’t consist of developers working in mist settled on a bathroom mirror or making paintings with clouds thinking they’ll still be around for all to see in the future. I’m hoping Capcom wises up and gets this one playable offline at some point (as with its incredible Dragon’s Dogma), because it’s looking so gorgeous that I want MORE people to experience it and not a select few hundred thousand or more with the proper and perfect setups. Art should have SOME permanence, specifically if it’s interactive and made to be enjoyed with others as a mandate.

Nintendo Direct (11/13): They’ll Follow Their Own Beat, Not Yours…

 
I missed posting this video last week, but here you go. I rather like that Nintendo really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what the competition is doing in terms of new console launches – they want you to focus on what THEY have in store for you as a loyal Nintendo gamer first and foremost (even if you also own one or more of the competition’s products). They follow the beat of their own drummer, tossing out titles when they want to (despite screwing up royally by not having a Pokemon or Animal Crossing on the Wii U as launch or launch window titles for some instant sales and cash for their coffers). Anyway, as you’ll see in this half-hour or so of game trailers, gameplay and house organ playing, the company still has it where it counts at least on the 3DS front and that Wii U you’re not owning yet or is near your TV playing with the dust bunnies is nowhere NEAR “dead”. Keep the faith and keep on gaming is the message here as the holiday season (and 2014) rolls around for Nintendo. I think they’ll have a few surprises for fans old and new as that new year progresses, and while what’s in this video is excellent, I’d say they seem to be keeping the best stuff well under wraps (for the moment, at least)…

Digital Dilemma Day (or Slow As S#!t Is the New Black)…

(thanks, upwithgravity!) 

Bleh. One thing that cracks me the hell up is reading industry sites and speaking with some folks in the tech sector who (very) blindly and (all too) cheerfully think ALL is nothing but well when it comes to the US and the rest of the civilized world having the best and speediest internet connections so we can all happily buy those new toys and get content with the same lightning speed wherever we go. Well, Crom laughs at your four winds, digital gurus. I say the bulk of these wealthy innovators have NEVER used local wi-fi, been stuck with a dial-up connection or had any major problem they couldn’t buy their way out of by tossing that old device in the trash and buying a new one or having an employee come up with a free fix (or come up with one themselves).

I’m also betting that if some of these SUPER geniuses were to step away from their hi-tech caves they’d see the rest of us poor peons not only have crappy connections, they’re slower than Kraftwerk playing their paradoxically languid classic pop song about that famous highway with no speed limit. Granted, it’s a great and memorable tune, but some of you folks may find it supremely soporific if you were expecting something along the Blurred Lines…

(thanks, Ras Putin!) 

Okay, now… hey, you in the back… WAKE UP! That’s better (I know I should have used the shorter single edit!)… Continue reading