Wednesday, 24 March 2010

No! My PS3 is Dead! - UPDATE

Okay, so I had an email from SCEE, asking me to phone them quoting a reference number. So I did this today on my lunch break, and spoke to a very helpful lady.

She asked for the serial number of the console, which I gave her, after which she confirmed that the warranty had expired. She then proceeded to talk me through putting the PS3 into safe mode, which then gives you 6 options on screen. She told me to select the third option, which scans the hard drive and fixes any errors.

I got an error message telling me that the HDD was corrupted; she told me this was a generic message - good to know.

After the scan was finished, I tried two game discs - nothing.

She then advised me that I should do a full PS3 system restore - which will taken between 2 - 4 hours. Before doing this, I should use the backup utility to save everything on either USB flash drive or external hard drive.

Here comes the crunch:

If that still hasn't resolved the issue, I'll get a new PS3. But. I need to pay £131.00 for it. For that price, I'll get a new PS3 - either the same one that I have now - fat, 60gb, backwards compatible, or a fat 160gb but without the features of my current model. The new PS3 will be delivered to my door, whereupon I will give the driver my bust PS3, and he will give me my new one.

I really hope it doesn't come to this.

But come on, let's think about this. I paid somewhere in the region of £260 for a PS3 two years and three months ago. Is it really fair/right/ethical to think that I can be charged an extra £131.00 for an unknown fault that has developed?

What would you do?

No! My PS3 is Dead!

Morning all. A very glum, despair-filled morning, may I add.

My PS3's Blu Ray drive packed in last night.

It's the 60gb, fat PS3 that I have, purchased from Comet (UK) in December 2007.

Although I'm not a hard core gamer, it gets reasonable use, and I hardly ever use it to watch blu ray films.

So here's the thing. I turn on the PS3 to play Fifa. It doesn't recognise that there is a disc in. Strange. Turn it off, turn it on, still doesn't recognise it.

Take the disc out, check it, clean it, pop it back in. Still nothing.


Try Avatar. Nope.

Try a mp3 CD. Yes, reads it.

Try Digger Demo - takes AGES to start, get an error message:

An error occurred during the start operation (80010006)

Tried it again, it worked. Still no game discs though.

After writing an email to Sony, outlining the above, I went to bed, very frustrated.

Got up this morning, still wouldn't read game discs.

Anyone else had this problem, know of a solution?

I've Googled it, and a lot of the answers are "Folding at home corrupted".

I haven't installed folding at home.

I can HEAR the drive struggling to read discs.


Sunday, 27 December 2009

5 Hotly Anticipated PS3 Games of 2010

So now that we are right at the very end of 2009 - which has been a great year for all console games - what have we got to look forward to in 2010?

Here's a list of the top 5 most anticipated games of 2010:

1: Gran Turismo 5

Could this be the most anticipated game of all time? It just may well be. Many were hoping, praying, begging that it would be released in 2009, but Polyphony were adamant that attention to detail was important. So this release is being billed as "the game the PlayStation 3 was made for."

Avid fans will know the details of this game, but here's what Polyphony Digital themselves have to say about Gran Turismo 5:

This is no demo or spin-off, this is the game every car enthusiast has been waiting for as the legendary real driving simulator finally rolls off the production line. The result of four years work by a team of hundreds, this is the game the PlayStation 3 was made for.

It goes without saying that the new game looks astonishing - far better even than Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - but as ever the beauty of Gran Turismo is that it drives as realistically as it looks. With the 950 different cars modelled to a higher degree of accuracy than ever before this also features more manufacturers than any other game - including, for the first time ever, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

Other fan demands that have finally been met too, including fully realistic damage-modelling, a 16-player online mode, dynamic weather changes and night racing. Any more realistic than this and you'd be knocked out by the petrol fumes.

Key Features
• Real simulator - The definitive version of the most realistic driving game ever finally hits the PlayStation 3 with more cars, tracks and features than ever before.
• Virtual showroom - Photorealistic graphics simulate hundreds of cars in exacting detail - from the smallest nuts and bolts to the unique handling of every model.
• Stig friendly - New official licenses include Ferrari, WRC and NASCAR - as well as the test track from the BBC's Top Gear show.
• Damage control - For the first time new damage modelling lets you see the damage your car - and your opponents' - endures throughout the race.
• Gran Turismo Live - Race online with fans around the world in the brand new 16-player multiplayer mode.

You can pre-order the game now from Amazon:

2. MAG

Massive Action Game: Well it will certainly live up to it's name, allowing 256 players online at once.

You get to lead a squad of 8 players, advancing in the ranks as you win battles. You get to upgrade your character, your weapons, drive tanks, fly planes.

The manufacturer says: "This is all out virtual war on a scale that has never been possible before on a home console."

Make sure you get a slice of the action by pre-ordering your copy now:

3. Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer

No doubt you've already seen the trailer to this gorgeous looking game, and fallen in love with what you know will be a best seller.

The hunt is on for the Origami Killer, and you get to play in four different roles: An FBI profiler, a PI, an Architect and a Journalist.

Here's the beefed up description of the game:

Heavy Rain is a dark, immersive and emotionally-engaging experience; one that expands upon the innovative ideas of 2005's acclaimed Fahrenheit to create a noir-thriller where decisions are charged with importance and actions can have drastic and unforseen consequences.

In Heavy Rain you don't watch the story – you play it. The dynamic narrative unfolds through the players actions - not cut scenes - and every action has a consequence. The choices you make and the way you interact with other characters have repercussions throughout the storyline. With unprecedented responsibility over the fates of the game's characters, Heavy Rain is an emotional experience unlike any other as a mature game for a new world of adult gamers.

From the team behind the critically-acclaimed Fahrenheit comes an even darker and more adult thriller, set to test the boundaries of video game storytelling. The story revolves around the hunt for a serial killer called The Origami Killer by four very different people: a FBI profiler, a private detective, an architect and a journalist.

If one of them dies the fact is simple incorporated into the story and you carry on playing with the remaining characters until either the killer is caught or the game ends in failure.

Although the story and characters are paramount the game still feature plenty of action, many playing out via quick time event sequences similar to Fahrenheit - where you have to press the buttons indicated on screen within a time limit. The game aims to be the most cinematic and emotional video game ever made - could this be the start of the game noir genre?

Key Features
• Heavy plotting: A dark, adult-themed thriller with believable characters and a captivating plot full of love, violence and sacrifice.
• Virtual luvvies: Breakthrough facial animation features the most realistic virtual actors ever seen, each capable of mimicking real and varied emotions.
• Consequences: If a character dies they stay dead - no extra lives or continues, just an organic plotline with multiple different endings.
• Quick Time: Intense action sequences that anyone can play, with simple controls and fast-paced against-the-clock challenges.
• Conscious action: Unique control system lets you see what your character is thinking as they explore the world - and then act on it with a press of a button.

This game is going to be immense, and I'm certainly going to be playing it on the day of it's release - are you?

4. BioShock 2

This sequel to Bioshock is set ten years after the original. Designed to not just be a great game, but to make you think, BioShock 2 is a highly anticipated game.

The manufacturer has this to say:

The original shocked the video gaming world by not only being a great first person shooter, but also an intelligent one. Now one of the greatest stories in interactive fiction is getting another chapter, with a sequel set ten years later.

You play the original Big Daddy - a more independently minded prototype to the giant deep sea divers from the first game. The undersea world of Rapture has been taken over by the mysterious Big Sister, who has begun to kidnap children from coastal cities around the world.

A much larger range of plasmid powers are now available, as well as more standard weapons and the Big Daddy's iconic rivet gun and drill. The game's real conflict is emotional though, as you are once again forced to make a decision between sacrificing Little Sisters or protecting them and making your task even harder. Bioshock 2 will make you think, and not just about tactics.

Key Features
• Atlas shrugged: The award-winning story-telling of Bioshock continues with a new hero and a new threat in the underwater dystopia of Rapture.
• Evolve yourself: New plasmids, including new dual-wielded attacks, let you unleash amazing powers but at the cost of your humanity.
• Cry Little Sister: As the first Big Daddy you are far faster than the other lumbering giants, but equipped with the same weapons and the ability to venture onto the ocean floor.
• Big boss: Defend yourself against the constant attacks of Big Sister by setting up traps and ambushes, but always making sure you have an escape route!
• Separate lives: For the first time Bioshock has its own multiplayer mode - featuring a completely different story and created by developer Digital Extremes (Unreal Tournament 2004).

Order it now:

5. God of War 3

Another highly anticipated sequel, God of War 3 is going to be exclusively available on the PS3 - so sorry, 360 and Wii owners! This game will have an explorable area 4 times greater than that of God of War 2, and the storyline completes the trilogy.

The game is described like this:

Developed exclusively for the PLAYSTATION 3 system, God of War III is the final instalment of the multi-million unit-selling trilogy. Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's Santa Monica Studios, God of War III will bring epic battles to life with stunning graphics and an elaborate plot that puts Kratos at the centre of carnage and destruction as he seeks revenge against the Gods who have betrayed him.

Set in the realm of brutal Greek mythology, God of War III is a single-player game that allows players to take on the climatic role of the ex-Spartan warrior, Kratos, as he scales through the intimidating heights of Mt. Olympus and the dark depths of Hell to seek revenge on those who have betrayed him. Armed with double-chained blades, and an array of new weapons and magic for this iteration of the trilogy, Kratos must take on mythology's darkest creatures while solving intricate puzzles throughout his merciless quest to destroy Olympus.

With texture resolutions quadrupling since God of War II on PlayStation 2, God of War III, in its debut on the PS3 system, will feature fluid, life-like characters, as well as dynamic lighting effects, a robust weapon system, and world-changing scenarios that will truly bring unmistakable realism to Kratos' fateful quest. Players will have a chance to join battles on a grand scale that is four times larger than its predecessor.

God of War III is a single player action game, exclusive to the PlayStation 3, and the final installment of the God of War trilogy. Containing signature and addictive God of War gameplay — a combination of over-the-top action combat, exploration and puzzle-solving — along with an engrossing mythologically inspired storyline and a selection of new weapons and a new weapons system, it is a fitting conclusion to the much praised God of War franchise.

Story and Gameplay
God of War III allows players on the PlayStation 3 to take on the climatic role of the ex-Spartan warrior, Kratos, as he treads through the intimidating heights of Mt. Olympus and the dark depths of Hades once more to seek revenge on those who have betrayed him. Armed with double-chained blades, as well a selection of new weapons, Kratos must take on mythology's darkest creatures while solving intricate puzzles throughout his merciless quest to destroy Olympus and the mighty Zeus himself.

• Only on the PS3 - The award-winning development team leverages the processing power and technology of PlayStation 3 system to make God of War III one of the most-graphically advanced next gen titles available, with even the dramatic cut screens running off the in-game engine.
• Groundbreaking Depth of Scale - Kratos will explore areas up to 4 times larger than those found in God of War II, as well as carve through entire armies while navigating on the back of Titans - living, moving, breathing levels as tall as the Empire State Building.
• Realism - Players will battle in detailed and unique 3D worlds lit by thousands of dynamic lights and textures with quadruple the resolution, which allows for realistic muscle striations, detailed facial expressions, and new heightened levels of brutality and gore.
• Signature Gameplay - Brutal combat, intricate puzzles, exploration of awe-inspiring worlds, and a compelling and satisfying ending to Kratos’ epic story.
• Sophisticated Storyline - The God of War III storyline is the epic conclusion to the trilogy; the storyline will be told in a way that is true to traditionalist roots in Greek mythology, from moral consequences to brutal battles against the gods.
• Ridable Creatures - Several of the menacing creatures of Greek mythology in God of War III can now be manipulated against their will, as Kratos uses them to cross chasms, inflict blind rage against enemies, reveal puzzles and secrets, and as tools of complete annihilation.
• New Weapons and Combat System - New deadly weapons such as the Cestus — powerful metal gauntlets with devastating strength — and other brutal instruments of war that will allow Kratos to learn ruthless new techniques such as grappling with enemies and launching explosive wall-to-ground attacks.
• Lighting Technologies - The dynamic lighting solution employed in GOW III is only feasible through the computing power provided by the Cell SPUs. For example, using the High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDRL) technology, the camera – when using Krato’s sightline - will emulate the human retina, causing players to feel a sharp brightness when Kratos exits a dark area and enters a sunlit area, similar to how the human eye would need to adjust.

Pre Order Your Copy Now!

Other games that people will be looking forward to next year:
• Driver 5
• May Payne 3
• Thi4f
• Mafia II
• Just Cause 2

2010: It’s gonna be a great year!

Got any more to add? Put them in the comments!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Swine Flu Merchandise!

I know that this is totally unrelated to the PS3, or games, but I thought that these Swine Flu T Shirts were absolutely fantastic, and most definitely worth a post! Check them out:

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Top Ten PS3 'Must Have' Games for Xmas!

The Unofficial PlayStation 3 Games Review Blog

Alrighty There People!

I've just realised - we're in October. Xmas is in December. That's just over two months away. It's time to think about GAMES!

I've decided to make a Top Ten list - the Top Ten PS3 'Must Have' Games

This can include games that have been out for ages, games that have just been released, and on the game is one very special soon-to-be-released game...

First of all though, let's talk about the PS3. Have you got one? Awesome. You haven't? Why not? The PS3 is a wonderful machine - an all in one entertainment station, incorporating Blu-Ray player, internet, wireless streaming and of course - amazing games graphics. And with the new slim-line console, with it's slimmer frame, slimmer weight, and (kerching) slimmer PRICE, now is the best time to buy a PS3. (Not to mention that there are some pretty good game/console bundles out there)

But on to the Top Ten List:

I'll break it down: On this list, there are:
4 newly released games
5 games that have been out there for a while
1 highly anticipated game to be released early next year

These are games that will appeal to people of all ages. Hold on to your seat...

Top Ten PS3 'Must Have' Games

1: Need for Speed: Shift
Need for Speed Shift is the latest in the NFS franchise. Breaking away from the cops 'n' robbers style of the last NFS game, this one is focused on racing. You can tackle the game in two ways - play it safe, drive carefully, gain respect, win trophies. Or play it rough, bash your opponents, be aggressive, fight your way to the top. Whatever way you play, you're going to have fun.

Graphically speaking, the game is awesome. It's refined, beautiful. The dynamics are amazing, the attention to detail stunning. This is a game that you will play and play and play. If you haven't got it, you should buy it. Now.

2: Colin McRae: Dirt 2
Whilst we're on the subject of driving games, we can't miss out the just released Colin McRae Dirt 2. Again, this continues the 'Colin McRae' franchise, the rally drive that tragically died in a helicopter accident in Scotland a few years ago.

This game takes you in rally cars, buggies, lorries and 4x4's, across tarmac, gravel, mud and sand. The handling is fantastic, the colours will make you groggy, and the gameplay is fabulous. The sheer concentration it takes to keep the car on the track will have you shaking. It's not a game, it's an experience.

3: Uncharted 2 – Among Thieves
What do I need to say about this game? It's probably the most anticipated game of the year, and when this comes out next week, it is going to sell like hot cakes. The sequel to the increasingly popular Drakes Fortune, Uncharted continues in the footstep of Nathan Drake. Check out what Amazon says about this awesome game:
"Nathan Drake is back, as gaming's most charismatic hero tries to solve the mystery of Marco Polo's last voyage (and earn himself a fortune in treasure at the same time). The original was one of the first games to really prove the power of the PS3, but this sequel is another huge leap forward.
The first game already mixed intense gunplay with precarious platform action, but this adds in new stealth elements and more flexible parkour style climbing controls. Your enemies have been upgraded as well, with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence that makes them just as agile and resourceful as you.
Always known for its stunning graphics, this sequel not only looks better but it's now much more dynamic, with fully destructible scenery in every level. Add-in all-new co-operative and competitive multiplayer and you've got one of the most exciting action adventures of the year."

4: FIFA 10
The beautiful game is back. Anyone who has played FIFA will know that this game features all the teams, all the leagues. Play against your own friends in your own home, or play online. Manage teams, take your team through a season, become top of the league, be the best.

With fantastic gameplay, amazing graphics and a great soundtrack, this game will have you glued to your PS3 for hours.

5: LittleBigPlanet
Let me get this admission out of the way: LittleBigPlanet is a game that I was not interested in in the slightest. But, begrudgingly, I bought it. I was hooked. I had been missing out on Sackboy, the mischievous character that you guide through the LittleBigPlanet world, taking him on new adventures. Great features? You can play with three others on the same console. You can create your own levels. Be warned - you won't leave the house for a week.

6: Batman Lego
Everyone loves Lego. Everyone loves Batman. Combine the two - and everyone loves Lego Batman. Guide Batman and Robin through Gotham City, and prepare to meet all your favourite villains.

I absolutely love the comic nature of the Lego series, it's a right laugh to play, and it's a fantastic two-player game to get into with a friend. Highly recommended.

7: Tomb Raider Underworld
I'm a self-professed Lara Croft fan. I loved every single Tomb Raider game, and they've only ever got better.

Tomb Raider Underworld is a fantastic game to play. The setpieces are incredible, the video cut-scenes mesmerising, the levels engrossing and the storyline intriguing. Tomb Raider Underworld belongs in every PS3 owner's collection.

8: Burnout Paradise
Another racing game! Burnout Paradise is awesome, and with additional content always being released by Criterion Games, this is one game that is ever changing!

Race, drift, stunt, bash - drive cars, bikes or vans. Play online, beat your rivals on the road, and beat them to a pulp when you do.

Graphically speaking, this game will blow your mind. You should buy it - now.

9: Singstar
The ultimate fun game! I love SingStar, it's constantly on my console. With 500+ songs available to purchase from the SingStore, and many variations of the game available - Vol. 1, 2, 3, Pop Edition, SingStar Queen, SingStar ABBA, SingStar Take That, and SingStar Motown - there's something in this game for everyone. And now with wireless mikes, which means you can play without being tangled up. Oh, and the artist's videos are always interesting - sometimes hilarious!

10: Gran Turismo 5
And here's the as-yet-unreleased game on the list. If you've played Prologue, you've probably already ordered this. If not, you need to order it today. Scheduled for a March release, GT5 promises to be the best racing simulator ever. And based on previous versions of this game, it will be. Enough said.

Oh, and if you haven't got your PS3 yet - you might want to get that now, too.

Feel free to add your own games recommendations in the comments.


Monday, 21 September 2009

I'm Back!

Alrighty There People!

First of all, I must apologise – it has been many, many months since my last blog post. I’ve been busy – very busy – with another blog, a business, holidays, and – (most importantly?!) building up my PS3 games collection.

So what’s new?

Well, let’s start with my current games:
Singstar: ABBA
Singstar: Queen
Singstar: Pop Edition
Singstar: Volume 2
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
Midnight Club: Los Angeles
… to name a few…

Now what do you all think about the lastest PS3? The slimline edition? Nice, huh? But I’m going to stick to my trusty, fat, shiny, 60Gb version. Yes, the one that is backwards compatible with PS2 games, and the one that has 4 USB ports. And the one that looks awesome on my TV stand.

I must say that I’m impressed with Sony’s latest firmware update – dynamic themes are FAB!

So what are you looking forward to? Well, very shortly, I’m going to be getting Need for Speed: Shift, Colin McRae Dirt 2, IL2: Birds of Prey, and much more.

I’m really, really into LittleBigPlanet at the moment, I’m looking at acing all the levels and completing it 100%.

There’s been some awesome game demos too – and some lacklustre ones too.

What have I loved? Well, the demo’s for Dirt 2 and IL2: Birds of Prey have REALLY whetted my appetite for them. WET looks like a fantastic game – the demo for that is cool. I’ll try and get some reviews for them up soon.

What sucked? Well, I didn’t think much of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a start – but then again, I’ve never been a fan of those scrolling fighting games.

I must admit, there have been a number of demos that I’ve downloaded, played for less than a minute, and then deleted – they were that bad. Mini Ninjas? No thanks (This looks like a theme here – trust me, I am not prejudiced towards ninjas!)

Well anyway, enough said. I’m going to post some reviews and pics here as soon as I can. So check back!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

The New TV Has Arrived!

Alrighty There Fellow Gamers!

Well, I have been quiet for a while, I know... sorry... but I have been busy with many other matters. Including, I hasten to add, the purchase of a new HDTV!

Now, you may recall a blog post wherein I requested help in purchasing one of two HDTVs. Well, I didn't end up getting either of them! Rather, I opted for the for the 32", full HD LG5700. With it's 50,000:1 contrast ratio and gaming mode, it seemed like the right choice to suit my gaming needs and budget.

To find out more about the TV, click on the Amazon link below - but trust me, it is fabulous.

Games that I am currently playing on the TV:
Tomb Raider Underworld
Fifa 09
Burnout Paradise

Fifa 09 is a full 1080 High Definition game, and the graphics on it are out of this world.
Now, when playing Burnout Paradise, I can actually read the scrolling text at the bottom of the screen, and the minimap in the bottom right hand corner is now actually useful to me! Not to mention the glorious colour and the superbly detailed smash-ups. I love it.

And as for Tomb Raider - I started playing this on my old faithful 26" Toshiba CRT TV, and I loved the game. Now, though, with much finer detail and better sound quality from the new TV, the game is absolutely awesome.

I'll be posting some more gaming reviews soon, complete with screenshots - I'm going to try and see if there is a way that I can rig something up to the TV to automatically take screenshots, rather than taking actual photographs - if you know how to do this, post a comment!

I did download the latest motorbike game, but I thought that it was absolutely atrocious - but I may give it another bash at the weekend.

In the words of my mate Arnie, I'll be back.