Eve of Heroes

This is going to be one of those stream of consciousness posts, so if you don’t dig those, flick away now…

I’m still messing with the PlayStation 3, a lot. It’s got a strange magnetism to it that makes me want to just tinker in the XMB. I dunno what it is that drives it? It’s kinda like when I first got the Wii and would be hopping around to the different channels to see if more Miis showed up in my parade or wanted to know the weather in Tokyo. I still do that stuff on there, too. I wish sometimes I’d get more focused on the games when I turn one of these machines on.

There are still about a billion things hidden in the PS3’s interface that I’m finding as I mess around. So many options for messing with your video output, your audio and everything in between. It’s a little overwhelming. I always end up wondering what I’ve got screwed up and should fix. It’s more and more like a PC, where you’re never satisfied with things and always have to do some kind of tinkering. When I finally do start playing a game, I’m happily twiddling sticks, but I think I’m wasting too much time with extraneous junk before and after.

Speaking of games, I bought a second one for the PS3 and promptly returned it today. I kinda enjoyed Full Auto on the Xbox 360. It was one of the early releases and it had a pretty cool combination of racing, destruction and shotguns. I read some reviews of the PS3-only sequel and thought that it sounded good, especially for $30 used. It took me all weekend to find it, and I was all excited. When I finally got to try it last night, I was devastated. The interface is horrible. It’s slow and unwieldy. Worse, there was extra loading time before all the races. Combine those two things and it was a chore to get behind the wheel. The driving itself was ok, but the circuits were retreads of the 360 version and they put some stupid story layer on top of it all turning it into a total mess.

When I get a game that features cars with shotguns, I don’t want to hear about some gang of dudes taking over the city to have some supposed legit reason to destroy their cars. Just set up a bunch of races as fast as possible and keep me playing, not listening to a disembodied voice explain why I’m playing. SHUT UP AND LET ME PLAY. It irritated me so much I wanted to scream. In an attempt at sanity, I went online looking for some arena games. Nothing. Zero people online. Right then the thought crept into my head… “return it”.

Fortunately, Gamestop allows used games returns for any reason within seven days of purchase. This is one of the biggest benefits of buying used. So today I went and exchanged Full Auto 2 for what I should’ve bought in the first place, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. I’m sorry, but $29.99 was too much to pay for Full Auto 2. After I’m done here, I’ll give Ratchet a try. The demo was great and I expect the same from the game. Shouldn’t have been such a cheapskate and bought that the first time instead of messing with Full Auto 2. If I had bought the Warhawk I saw used over the weekend, I probably would’ve been just as happy with that as I’ll be with Ratchet. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way.

If I hadn’t gotten the PS3, I probably wouldn’t have bought anything this past weekend, because tomorrow I need to hit the Gamestop for No More Heroes. If you don’t know what that is, you’re probably going to hear about it a lot in the next few weeks. The game’s creator is Suda 51 (real name Goichi Suda), famous for the criminally undersold Killer 7 on Gamecube and PlayStation 2. It’s a game that is better shown in pictures than explained. It’s also one of the few hardcore M-rated titles that the Wii is getting in the first half of 2008. I plan to dive in heavily tomorrow night. It’s something I’ve been anticipating for a pretty long time. Can’t wait.

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