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Over the weekend I moved the website over to a much better hosting provider. I’m sorry about the down time last week. Oh and for those of you still using the old RSS feed. Please switch to this one.

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Published on July 13th, 2009 under , , , , , ,

LBP Level Recommendations


I am absolutely floored by the quality of some of the user created levels in LBP. I wish I had half of the imagination or artistic design skills of some of these guys. What’s amazing is that (from what I can tell) these are fairly regular players, and not professional game developers or artists at all.

It’s really neat to see all the unique contraptions, platforming mechanics, and visual effects that people can pull off within the LBP framework.

Two levels that I would highly suggest trying out are listed below. I would suggest not watching the videos since it kind of spoils the novelty of playing the levels, but I’m posting them anyway. LBP has improved the level search tools since launch, but I still think it’s somewhat of a weak point. Ideally, I wouldn’t need to find out about cool levels on the web on my PC and type them in later on my PS3: I’d rather see everyone’s top picks right inside the game.


by Nathan900


  • Three optional co-op centric puzzle areas designed for groups of 2+, 3+, and 4 players
  • Epic boss monster. It has been completely redone since the linked YouTube video (which actually looks pretty crappy), so don’t judge that one. The new one is based around the guns and items from the MGS pack.
  • Roller coaster section. This coaster is actually better done than several standalone roller coaster levels, and it’s only just a small part of this map.
  • Variety of other cool platforming design ideas. Nothing is terribly hard, but most of them are just cool to play through and experience such novel designs.

Silent Hill Tribute

by monkeybutler


  • Nails the classic Silent Hill environments: the desolate foggy city, the haunted elementary school, the hospital, and hell.
  • Monsters: This actually has functional undead knife-wielding nurses. And the triangle head guy with the giant sword. Nice!
  • Sound + Music: They even got the weird static sound when the enemies attack.

This has some really fun platforming and cool recreations of many classic Silent Hill -isms. I would dare to say that I had more fun with his level than I did with Silent Hill Homecoming.

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Published on January 16th, 2009 under

December 2008 Hardware Sales



Those are huge sales for the industry overall. PS3 sales are slightly disappointing in that they are less than the competition and even less than December 2007 numbers, even with an unusually strong software lineup, but these numbers are definitely not terrible. Overall 2008 hardware sales are 40% higher than 2007.

It’s disappointing to see 360 software dominate the NPD’s USA top ten list, but realistically this is likely just the same USA 2:1 360:PS3 install base ratio being repeated in software sales.

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Published on January 16th, 2009 under

Third Parties To Drop Support For PS3… According to Microsoft


At CES 2009, Microsoft Xbox Exec Aaron Greenberg says:

Historically, third parties would give us great support and lead developed on our platform, but they would say “In Europe, we have to still support the PS3″ but now that that has switched

I try to be cool-headed and not hyper defensive about this kind of thing… But I’m going to call Mr. Greenberg out on this and say this is BS.

In fact, I predict the exact opposite and you can hold me to it: The amount of third party support for the PS3 will go up in 2009, not down.

If you read the interview, notice that the questions were completely neutral and were not baiting an inflammatory quote.

I’ll keep future posts constructive, happy, and non-argumentative, but remember: If at the end of 2009, I point out that the PS3 has had an amazing year, complete with amazing and increased third party support, a simple “I told you so” might be in order.

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Published on January 15th, 2009 under

I Don’t Want to Play


Okay folks, time for something a little different. Usually we talk about the upcoming games we want to play. Personally, if it’s a game I don’t care about, I don’t post about it either. That seems to be what the other authors here do too, but I’m not totally sure.

But right now I’m going to mention some upcoming high profile PS3 titles that lots of people are talking about that I personally don’t want to play. Please join in with your list of highly anticipated titles that aren’t highly anticipated by you.

Here’s my list:

Heavy Rain

I just don’t see what’s so great about this game. A girl crying with a gun? Heavy emotions? Facial expressions? What the heck? Am I an emotional quiver basket that I would respond at any level to this? I just don’t understand the appeal.

Resident Evil 5

Frankly I’ve never understood horror in any genre. Why would you willingly want to surround yourself with ugly? It’s like inviting the mumps into your body for a day. Why do it?

God of War III, Uncharted 2

These you can put in the it doesn’t have co-op or multiplayer of any sort bin. I don’t care much for the single player experience, so these games have no draw for me. Now if they added a co-op mode, I’d be on them like cold on Ottawa (high of -22 degrees Celsius today).

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Published on January 15th, 2009 under ,

Will “The Dark Knight” Be Blu-Ray’s Breakthrough?



The Dark Knight is out today on both DVD and Blu-Ray. This movie got rave reviews, a huge fan reaction, and this is exactly the kind of action-packed special effects laden blockbuster that people want to experience in high definition, with all the featurettes, extra commentary, extra footage, and special release trimmings. There are tons of big-budget comic book blockbusters, but this movie has generated an unusual amount of excitement, and is arguably the biggest movie of its type in many years.

If any movie is going to drive blu-ray adoption, this is it. Early reports show that the blu-ray edition of this has sold over 100K copies so far on the first day in the UK alone. That’s 21% of total disc sales which is a large increase from earlier adoption levels.

Published on December 9th, 2008 under

Wishlist: Public PSN Web Service APIs


I’d like Sony to make public web service APIs available:

  • Play time data broken down by game, date, and geographic region. In other words, people should be able to write applications that could query the number of hours played for game X, in month Y, in US (or Japan or Europe).
  • PSN Demo Download and Purchase Stats broken down by game, date, and geographic region.
  • Secure access to user stats: playtime by game, trophy data, etc. This should require authentication so that people can query their own data but not data on other people.
  • Game Specific data: Specifically, I’d love to be able to query data about LittleBigPlanet levels. It looks like this data is already available via screen scraping on LittleBigWorkshop, but it would be nice if there was a cleaner and more comrehensive API to access this data.

Not only would these features be really cool for users and techie programmer types, but this would benefit Sony by building the PSN community. Numerous user maintained and user promoted web sites would spring up around this and that would certainly drive interest in PSN overall.

Why wouldn’t Sony do this? Would data-sensitivity issues prevent Sony from doing something like this? Does Sony just not “get” this kind of thing? Or maybe this just isn’t as great an idea as I think it would be?

Published on December 6th, 2008 under

The Role of the Critic?


Roger Ebert, one of the most famous of the dying breed of the classic newspaper film critic, writes about the decline of the classic profession:

Why do we need critics? [snip] A newspaper film critic should encourage critical thinking, introduce new developments, consider the local scene, look beyond the weekend fanboy specials, be a weatherman on social trends, bring in a larger context, teach, inform, amuse, inspire, be heartened, be outraged.

Sure, that’s one role that critics serve for a particular type of audience. However, critics have different roles and purposes for the different groups that they serve:

  • For the professional critics themselves, the purpose is an engaging and rewarding career with competetive pay.
  • For the reader or the consumer, the purpose is entertainment. Some consumers want serious critical thinking that is intellectually engaging and offers insightful commentary on social trends and the bigger picture of life itself. Other consumers want mindless entertainment that provides instant and effortless amusement. Both those purposes are wildly subjective and dependent or personal quirks and tastes.
  • For an profit-seeking company to hire a critic, such as a newspaper or web site, the purpose is to convert the reader’s interest into revenue: either directly through subscription fees or indirectly through increased reader loyalty and publication status.

The celebrity culture is infantilizing us. We are being trained not to think. It is not about the disappearance of film critics. We are the canaries. It is about the death of an intelligent and curious, readership, interested in significant things and able to think critically. It is about the failure of our educational system. It is not about dumbing-down. It is about snuffing out.

The news is still big. It’s the newspapers that got small.

First, the newspapers aren’t getting small, they are getting run out of business and are disappearing. And if movie critics are the early warning canaries, they are several decades late on calling it.

I’d argue that there are more intelligent and curious fans of movies, games, and cultural media than ever before. There are more movies, more games, more cultural content, and more demand for discussion and critical analysis of that content. There are also far more avenues for discussion and availability of critical discussion. There is more intelligent discussion (what classifies as intelligent is highly subjective), more headline-grabbing click-bait, and more of everything in between.

What’s changed is that the days of having small concentrated numbers of big name, formally trained “critics”, that had attractive life-long stable careers based on nothing more than quality movie analysis skills are over. Today, some of the best media critics and some of the best political commentators have no formal training in media or journalism and many contribute on a completely volunteer basis as a personal hobby. There is still a demand for critic personality and semi-celebrity, and there are tons of ways to make money in the news and review business, but it’s more competitive, more efficient, and more spread out among a larger group of people.

So what do you think? Is our culture becoming infantilized? Are we really witnessing the death of the intelligent and curious audience? Or are we just picking on an easy target?

Published on December 5th, 2008 under

Black Friday Sales


PS3 has (arguably) the strongest lineup of games this holiday by a very wide margin. The software lineup overall is fantastic, and in particular LittleBigPlanet really does have all the makings of the next big thing.

And the hardware is a great buy. The price is more front-loaded than the 360, which is a barrier with gift givers, but it’s actually a better buy once you add in the basics, and gamers are well aware of this.

So how did PS3 sales stack up to the competition this Thanksgiving weekend? Now, this is from a Microsoft press release so some skew is expected, but still:


Retailers reported Xbox 360 console sales over the Black Friday weekend were on pace to beat previous years, outselling the PlayStation 3 by a three-to-one ratio

Xbox 360 continues to have the highest game attach rate of any console at 8.1 games per console.

And, while the full data isn’t available, it’s safe to presume the Wii sold much more hardware than that despite having the weakest game selection of the three systems. It’s almost like game quality and innovation has almost zero bearing on mass market sales.

So what now, fellow PS3 fans? Is it time, as Kent Brockman once asked, to crack each others heads open and feast on the goo inside?

Published on December 1st, 2008 under

Uncharted 2 Teaser


oh boy… Uncharted 2 teaser. Full announcment on 12/14…


Published on December 1st, 2008 under ,

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