Sony PSP 3000: Best Christmas Gift of 2008

It’s been 4 years since Sony released the first model of the PSP. Since then, the PSP hasn’t changed much in functionality or in appearance, but it most certainly has been refined. The PSP has been through 3 generations, 2 of these providing updates. Some would say these updates were not substantial and I would agree with this assessment. While it is clearly a money making scheme for Sony to only provide only small incremental periodic updates, the latest generation called the PSP 3000 is definitely worth taking a look at. If you are already an owner of the previous generation, the PSP 2000, the 3000 is probably not a sorely needed update. If you own a PSP 1000 then you might want to look into purchasing a 3000.

The primary features Sony has been boasting is the brighter and more colorful screen. This is the centerpiece of the new model and there is a big difference when compared to the older models. The new LCD screen features faster response time, a wider color gamut, and a higher contrast ratio than the previous generations and it’s quite noticeable. Supposedly this new screen is equipped with a layer of anti-reflective coating and Sony claims it allows the PSP to be used during outside play but, I can see no difference between the 3000 and the previous models when used in direct sunlight. There are some problems with the new interlaced screen, which was implemented in order to eliminate the ghosting problem that plagued the previous generations when certain titles were played. The interlaced screen does cut down on ghosting but it presents a annoyance in the form of scan lines. When fast moving objects appear on the screen, the scan lines are sometimes noticeable but I barely notice. Only the most obsessed would consider this a big defect while I consider it to be a good trade off. Another negative thing about the screen is that it consumes more power from the battery and reduces overall play time, but I didn’t notice a dramatic reduction

Most of the other changes are purely cosmetic such as the overall size of the PSP 3000. It’s even slimmer than the PSP 2000, otherwise known as the Slim and Lite. The plastic shell used cuts down on fingerprints as it feels a bit more textured and of higher quality than either the 1000 or the 2000. The metal ring on the back of the PSP is thinner and instead of the brushed metal used in the other versions, it uses chrome. Perhaps the best surface change besides the screen is the introduction of the microphone. The microphone can be used to play games over an Internet connection to allow vocal communication with other players, or best of all it can be used in concert with Skype, an Internet calling program that has the ability to not only call computers but phone lines as well. I am an avid user of Skype and often find myself using it instead of my phone when I am at home, so I found the microphone to be a welcome sight, as I thought it was needed on the older models. One of the best features about the PSP is its ability to access wi-fi spots to browse the Internet. I rarely use the Internet feature to play games, though it is possible to play certain PSP games with people all around the globe.The Internet browser is often criticized but I think it is adequate for most normal uses.

The pricing for the PSP is about $199.99 for the Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters bundle pack which comes with a copy of Ratchet and Clank: Size Patters UMD game, National Treasure 2 UMD movie, and a 1 gigabyte Memory Stick Duo. It’s a bit pricey but well worth the expense.

Gaming – Mission Failed. Continue?

Don’t deny it. You’ve all experienced gameover screens. I bet even the most skilled gamer in the world (and there really isnt such a thing) has gotten more than enough share of gameovers. Some games forces us to rely on trial-and-error gameplay, some feature extremely difficult parts, and we all make mistakes. Simply put, gameover happens to every one of us.
But the real question is, how does that gameover screen make us feel?

When they review games, a lot of professional critics nowadays talk about how easy it is to pick up and play a certain game and how accessible it is. Well, I think this judgment can in some ways be made easier by evaluating how that game’s gameover screen makes us feel. Does it make you feel challenged? Does it annoy you? Frustrate you? Or does it enlighten you? Excite you?

I found that games that don’t have much of a learning curve have gameovers that aren’t frustrating or annoying. In these games, a gameover screen only made me try that mission or try that part again. These games were usually shooters where if I died, I simply respawned to either my last save point or the last checkpoint and I just tried again. A gameover screen for these games simply meant choosing continue and playing on. This is perhaps why first-person shooters nowadays have such a large appeal. When you get a gameover in an fps, it’s not like you just want to stop playing that game forever. No, you want to try again and see if you can beat it. It’s only after you get gameover repeatedly that the game loses its appeal. Then maybe it’s time to play at an easier difficulty or start from an older save. Or just skip the game altogether.

When a game has gameover screens that aren’t as easy to dismiss, the more likely it is to be labeled as a niche game. Take SOCOM games for example. There’s no check points in those games and the the only times you’re allowed to save are after you’ve beaten a mission. You can’t save during a mission, only after your success or your failure. Thus, a gameover screen in these games can be extremely frustrating. I remember when I was on my very last objective on a mission in SOCOM 2 and I had accomplished a lot of takedowns and stealth kills. It was then I was spotted by an enemy behind me and I died. Gameover. I was so mad, I didn’t play SOCOM 2 again for weeks.

Games like that are for the patient and are for the people who are really into the genre. I recently realized this as I played rpgs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Generation of Chaos. Gameovers in those games made me feel so angry because so continuing from a gameover meant putting that much effort and time into the same mission once again. Those gameovers really tested my patience and that’s when I realized why shooters were so popular. They may not be extremely shallow in storytelling, extremely simplistic in gameplay mechanics, and feature really dumb level designs, but their gameover screens usually invoke ambition more than frustration.

Now, not every gamer is the same. Me, I don’t really feel that much frustration in stealth games like Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid because sure it’s trial-and-error but when I fail in those games and I get a gameover screen, I find better ways to overcome that mission and I keep on continuing. In fact, I find stealth games easier to play than shooters like Uncharted or Halo or whatever. And since I really enjoy simulation games, a gameover screen on Ace Combat or Last place on Grand Turismo didn’t upset me all that much cause I was able to simply try again. But had I not liked the stealth genre or the simulation genre, I could definitely understand why people didn’t like those certain games.

We often don’t realize that a lot of the games we really enjoy are niche games. A gameover screen of a certain game may not make us upset all that much but to certain gamers, it’s enough to have them stop playing that game altogether. A gameover screen can encourage players to try again but more often than not, it just angers and alienates gamers, especially newcomers to the genre. So the next time you get a gameover screen, think about how that makes you feel and you’ll realize more deeply what kind of a gamer you are.

Free Online Game Review: Dig’n’Fight

Ever dream of controlling your own dungeon, and having dozens of minions at your beck and call?
Then this is the game for you. In Dig’n’Fight you are a dungeon owner, your objective: become the ultimate dungeon master.
Scoring in this game is simple. there are three ways to score points.
1.) upgrade a room in your dungeon (permanenet points)
2.) recruit / train minions (points last as long as minion survives)
3.) gain gold (points last until spent)

Note that for the first two methods of scoring points, the amount of gold it costs is equal to the point value of your new upgrade / minion. However there are two ways to gain gold, Mining and Attacking. While Mining for gold is most certainly the safer route, you are limited in how much you can mine each day. Attacking for gold however, you can do as often as you want as long as you have minions under your command. Unfortunately failed attacks can mean loss of minions and quite probably injuries which need to be healed, both of which will cost you points and/or gold.

With various rooms, minion types, spells and even traps, there are many ways you can attack and defend your own dungeon. Who knows… maybe someday you will be the next ultimate Dungeon Master.

Overall this game is a good way to burn some spare time, but not something to spend days at the computer doing. I’d reccomend playing a few rounds of the game to anybody. Check it out at:

The Dark Knight Video Game

Tonight’s entertainment racked up 100 million in sales. Now that is something that any movie only dreams of accomplishing. This was the first time ever where a batman movie was released without a video game. Surprisingly, It is also the highest selling Batman thus far. Every other Batman released along with a game. No this one. Whats the delay?
Why no video game?

Well frankly, Heath Ledger is the joker. You cannot ever say dark knight again and not think of Heath Ledger. So with no Heath Ledger, will a video game be any good? You have people over at EA wondering how they will be able to enact the joker. I envisioned a game where you could play as both Batman and Joker. That is truly a gamers dream. But the reality is that without a Heath Ledger, you could not really begin to explore the possibilities of different cut scenes and so. I believe that to make this movie into a best selling game as the movie will take some crafty work from the people over at electronic arts.

Status of Video Game-

It was made official a while back that their was going to be a Batman Game. The delay was indeed Heath Ledger. Batman is told to glide sophisticatedly across rooftops. They say that this game can be extremely promising. Beyond this, the Dark Knight game has been highly concealed. I believe that a major factor as I have stated before is the Jokers presence. I look for electronic arts to really scrape up any type of Ledgers voice that they can get into the game. Also they really have to sit down and think about how they will share the roles between Batman and the Joker. I really feel that this game should take plenty of dedication. I hope that this game will be as worthy of its name as the movie was.

Can you please give me some info that I can run with?

Feel the pain that I felt when I heard its release date. March 2009. Yes, this means we will have to wait. But will the wait be worth it? It better be. People really loved this movie and the fact that Heath is gone sucks. You wish that you could see him in a future batman. I really hope they make this game worth it. This will be a chance to have a tangible piece of memory to remember the outstanding Dark Knight performance of Heath Ledger, not only on a movie screen but in your entertainment station.